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Utah Boy Rescued From Under Ice Is Awake, Doing Well

Utah Boy Rescued From Under Ice Is Awake, Doing Well
Search-and-rescue workers at the frozen pond where a sheriff's sergeant rescued an 8-year-old boy. (Washington County Sheriff's Office)

By    |   Friday, 29 December 2017 06:55 AM

A Utah boy who was rescued after falling through the ice on a frozen pond on Christmas is awake and doing well.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office said on Wednesday that the 8-year-old boy, identified only by his first name Jason, was coherent and has been responding to questions from staff at a Salt Lake City hospital, The Associated Press reported.

Lt. David Crouse said the family is thankful for prayers they've received and have described the rescue as "a Christmas miracle."

Washington County sheriff's Sgt. Aaron Thompson rescued the boy by punching and stomping his way through the ice. Thompson said rescuers believed the boy was in the cold water for about 30 minutes.

The boy fell through the ice in the town of New Harmony, in southwestern Utah.

Thompson took off his sheriff officer's gear and jumped into the numbing water to save him from under some ice, NBC News reported.

Thompson responded to a call for help from the boy's friend late Monday afternoon. The boy reportedly fell into pond while chasing his dog.

"You never know exactly what you're going to get into," Thompson, a rescue diver by training and a former member of the sheriff's dive team, told reporters on Tuesday, per NBC News. "I just made the decision that I was going to go get him."

Thompson said once he was in the water, he started using his fists to break through the ice to get to where the boy might be, KSL-TV reported.

"As the ice got thicker, I couldn’t break it with my arms and my fists anymore. So I had to jump up on top of the ice to put my weight on it and pound on it to get it to break," Thompson told reporters, per KSL-TV.

Thompson said he eventually bumped into the body in the deeper portion of the pond, where adrenaline had taken over in the chilly water, KSL-TV wrote.

"Really, I couldn't feel anything," Thompson said. "I didn't notice anything when I was doing it. I knew time was of the essence. I had a very short window to get that child out of the water."

Thompson told reporters the boy was beyond the ice that was broken out, forcing him to dive into the water under the ice to get to him, KSL-TV said. Once he grabbed the boy, he pushed his head above water and headed back to shore.

Thompson was treated for hypothermia, suffered nerve damage in two fingers, and needed stitches for the cuts he received breaking the ice, but he told reporters that he didn't want to be called a hero, KSL-TV said.

"It's not me, it's us," Thompson said, deflecting the attention to paramedics, dispatchers and doctors, KSL-TV said. "I think that's the real story here. I was just the one that went in the water. If there was a hero that night it's us, it’s not me. I'm just the one that went in the water."

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A Utah boy who was rescued after falling through the ice on a frozen pond on Christmas is awake and doing well.
utah, boy, rescued
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2017-55-29
Friday, 29 December 2017 06:55 AM
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