NEW ZEALAND - A 12-year-old boy says he thought he was going to die before being saved from treacherous surf at a popular tourist spot.
[WATCH NOW: Cellphone video captures rescue]
Josh McQuoid was saved after rescuers formed a human chain to pluck him from the water at Napier's Marine Parade Beach in New Zealand.
"When I was in there, I thought I was going to die," McQuoid told reporters. "The waves smashed me so much ... they flipped me around quite a few times."
Police said McQuoid was dragged more than 160 yards along the beach. He fought for air for eight minutes.
"(It was) like being in a washing machine, you know? Just boom, boom, boom," said Bryan Farquharson with Napier police.
McQuoid's friend, who was swimming in the water, alarmed beachgoers of the emergency.
"I could see other people up on the shoreline, and I started yelling, 'Come help us, come help us, form a human chain,'" said McQuoid's friend.
Cellphone video shows people on the beach rushing to the water where they joined hands to form a human chain.
McQuoid was pulled from the water and taken to the hospital where he recovered.
After viewing the cellphone video, McQuoid said he was thankful that so many people helped save his life.
"I'd love to thank them so much for what they did," McQuoid said. "They saved my life. If it wasn't for them I'd be dead."