An 11-year-old boy trapped in a flooded stormwater drain was miraculously rescued at Altona Meadows.
The boy, who had been riding his bike with a friend on Thursday about 4.40pm, was sucked underwater when he accidentally rode across a submerged drain on Merton Street.
He was washed about 10m under the road before managing to grab a metal grate on the other side, his bike helmet catching on the structure so he had time to take hold.
The boy was left battling the powerful current, managing to keep his head above the water.
A passer-by and off-duty SES member rushed to his aid, with police from Williamstown arriving soon after.
The SES member removed bolts from the drain’s grate to get to the boy, now fully submerged in the swiftly moving water.
A police officer prised the grate open, the boy still clinging to the underside before being pulled to safety.
He told rescuers: “I love you all”, later asking about his missing shoes.
Paramedics treated the boy at the scene and he was taken to hospital.
His friend, also washed from his bike, managed to brace himself from getting sucked into the water.
First Constable Peter Ivory, who pulled the boy to safety said,“This was an incredibly dynamic situation.
“When we arrived the boy was fully submerged and he was literally clinging to the grate by his fingernails so he wasn’t sucked underground.
“The force of the water was extraordinary.
“I’m so glad we could play our part in bringing the incident to a good resolution.
“I could not speak more highly of everyone involved, especially the passer-by and off-duty SES member.
“They are truly the heroes of this story.”