Inspiring

Hero Utah Officer Risks Life, Punches Through Frozen Pond to Save Drowning 8-Year-Old on Christmas

A Utah sheriff’s officer risked his life to rescue an 8-year-old boy who fell into a frozen pond on Christmas, NBC News reports.

Washington County sheriff’s Sgt. Aaron Thompson arrived at the pond after the boy’s friend called for help.

Police say the boy was chasing his dog when he fell through the ice.

“You never know exactly what you’re going to get into,” Thompson, who is a former member of the sheriff’s dive team, told NBC News. “I just made the decision that I was going to go get him.”

Thompson walked out on the ice and began to punch through with his fists.

He says “the ice got thicker, and I couldn’t break it with my arms and my fists. So I started to jump up and down on it using my body weight.”

The ice gave way and he dived in. He said he was optimistic because “the clearer the water, the colder the water, the younger the individual,” the better chance you have at a successful rescue.

But as he searched, he began to grow desperate.

“I had searched the entire broken-out area,” he said, only to realize the boy was back below the unbroken ice.

“Using my tippytoes, walking in the water up to my neck … I knew eventually I was going to bump into him,” Thompson said.

Thompson said he believed the boy was in the water for roughly 30 minutes.

“As a water rescuer, we’re trained to know we have a ‘golden hour,'” he said.

Thompson found the boy and dragged him to safety and the child was transported to a hospital.

The boy’s condition has not been disclosed.

Thompson suffered cuts, bruises, and symptoms of hypothermia but returned to work the next day.

He says he is no hero, he was just the first one to arrive.

“It’s not me. It’s us,” he said of the medical crews and helicopter crew as well as his fellow officers. “That’s the real story here. I was just the one that went out into the water.”