A Utah deputy broke through a frozen pond Christmas Day to save an 8-year-old child who had fallen into the freezing cold water.
The 8-year-old kid had fallen through the ice-covered lake when trying to go after a dog that ran to the water, reports the Fox 13. Another boy who was with him at the time ran to get help with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
Units with the Sheriff’s County Office showed up to rescue the child, but one member who was one of the first to arrive, Sgt. Aaron Thompson, went in after the child without using the necessary equipment.
“I couldn’t feel anything. I didn’t notice anything when I was doing it,” Thompson told Time after the rescue. “I knew that time was of the essence. I had a very short window to get that child out of the water.”
Thompson punched a hole in the icy pond in order to crack through and make a path and get to the child, who was about 25 feet away from the pond’s shore.
The child was taken to the hospital, while Thompson was also treated for signs of hypothermia and cuts to his arms.
After arriving at the scene, Thompson, who had served on a search and rescue dive team, began searching an area where a woman reported seeing the boy’s hand flail about four minutes earlier.
The deputy stomped to break through the ice and work his way deeper, pounding with his hands and fists.
“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, putting my weight on it, and then pound on it to get it to break,” he said.
When he went into the water, his toes brushed against reeds growing on the bottom of the pond and water reached his neck.
He swished his arms and legs around before finding the boy beneath the ice about 25 feet from the shoreline.