Not many teenage boys mark their 18th birthday being kidnapped, mistaken for a woman and chased by police.

But that's exactly how Daniel Ross-Murphy's day started off yesterday.

It all began with a prank by a group of his friends.

" I woke up to a bunch of my mates on top of me and they started tying me up with ropes and duct tape," he told the Weekend Herald.

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"I didn't really see anything. They jumped on me and pulled the blanket over my head. I was just laughing. They proceeded to carry me up the driveway and put me on the back tray of my friend's ute. One of my mates came with me to hold me down so I didn't try and get away."

The teenagers drove along Viponds Rd in Stanmore Bay with Mr Ross-Murphy on the back of the ute. Little did they know someone had seen their escapades and called police, terrified they had witnessed a violent kidnapping.

Inspector Scott Webb said police were called at 6.51am by a person who reported seeing a woman being lifted into the back of a ute. The caller said the woman was blindfolded and had her hands and feet bound.

Fearing an abduction was in progress, police responded by sending a large number of staff including detectives to the area. They also called on the Eagle helicopter to help them locate the "suspicious" vehicle.

Meanwhile, Mr Ross-Murphy's friends had driven him to nearby Manly Beach as part of their birthday "surprise".

"They got me out and they carried me and chucked me in the freezing cold water," he said.

"We drove back and about half way back we noticed we were being followed by the authorities. I was just lying in the tray of the ute because, frankly, my friends didn't want to get their cars wet. But when I saw the cops and heard the sirens I just thought 'oh no, we're going to get in trouble for me being on the back of the ute'. But nope ...

"We pulled into my house and they put their lights on and surrounded us and said 'what's going on here'?"

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The teenagers told officers it was a prank, and police explained why they had converged on the ute.

"They told us they got a call from a distressed member of the public.

"They had four or five cars there, then two detectives. They called the chopper. It was very eventful," Mr Ross-Murphy said.

"I just laughed. Everyone was like 'oh no'. It was crazy. We were very surprised that someone would call it in, but then we realised and thought through what we were doing.

"I remember as I was going out yelling, but not screaming. I think I yelled out 'help' once, as a joke.

"Mum heard the sirens outside the house and thought we'd got into some major trouble. She's just saying it will be one to remember forever."

Mr Webb said police also had a chuckle at their "unusual start to the day".

"Police had to laugh and see the funny side of this prank that had gone horrible wrong for them all. End of the day it was a great result and no harm done. Even the original informant saw the funny side," he said.