A Whanganui family's fishing outing on Monday ended abruptly after a 5-year-old boy was rushed to Whanganui Accident & Medical Clinic (WAM) with two fishing hooks stuck in his leg.
It's prompted pleas for people to clean up after themselves when out fishing.
The boy's grandmother, Christina Shepherd, said the hooks, which were on the same line, had been left on the ground near the wharf off Tregenna St. The family had only been there for a matter of minutes when the boy was hurt.
"They'd pretty much just got out of the car before it hooked up to him," Shepherd said.
"I went to the hospital with him, and it was very, very traumatic having to get them out.
"I'm not happy at all, and it would put me off wanting my grandchildren down there without a thorough look around first. We shouldn't have to do that though, people should be picking up after themselves. It's a hazard, and it's unsafe.
"Just take your mess with you."
Her grandson was now on the mend, Shepherd said.
"He's a very boisterous boy and nothing will keep him down. He's up and about, but we've got to remind him to keep being mindful about resting and not playing rough.
"The doctor, she did really well to get those hooks out. I had to hold him down, and he was screaming, but there are nice, clean holes left, not big slices of flesh."
Family friend Helena Allen, who lives across the road from the wharf, said she heard the boy let out a "bloodcurdling scream", so she got sanitiser, hand wipes and plasters and ran down to help.
"As soon as I saw his injuries I said to his mum, 'this is a trip to the hospital'," Allen said.
"The hooks were very deep into his calf, they were right in. It was pretty traumatic for the little fella.
"We want to encourage our young ones to get off their devices and get outside, and for people to respect the space and make it a really cool place for the community.
"There are council workers going along there every day clearing rubbish, and they do a really good job, but I don't know if they check for [fishing] debris."