Supermodel Heidi Klum has played down her heroics after helping to save her son and his two nannies from drowning off the coast of Hawaii on Sunday (31Mar13), insisting pictures of the rescue mission "look worse than it really was".

The mum-of-four raced into the Pacific Ocean with her boyfriend Martin Kirsten on Sunday after spotting seven-year-old Henry struggling in a strong riptide, and they were able to pull her boy and his two nannies to safety.

Photos of the scary incident in Oahu have since emerged, but Klum claims the snaps make the rescue seem a lot more dramatic than in real life.

She tells People magazine, "I did what any mother would do. Henry swam out of it (the riptide). I grabbed him at the shore. The photos look worse than it really was."

Klum and her family were pictured smiling back home in Los Angeles on Monday (01Apr13), but the German beauty has one warning for other parents taking their kids to the beach: "Never underestimate the power of the ocean."