A frightened boy fell through the ice and into the frigid water in Milford on Sunday afternoon. Part of the dramatic rescue was caught on camera.
Experts said the youngster is likely alive tonight because of the quick actions of a Good Samaritan.
Good Samaritan John O'Rourke was out walking his dog and sprang into action when he saw a 10-year-old boy break through the ice at Mondo Pond around 3 p.m. on Sunday.
"That poor boy, he was frightened,” O'Rourke said. “He was screaming I'm going to die. I'm going to die and I saw it in his eyes too."
O'Rourke said he picked up the biggest stick he could find and started crawling out across the frozen pond. But, not long after the 10-year-old was able to grab the stick, the ice went out underneath O'Rourke.
Now both of them were in the frigid water about 25 yards from shore.
"He got up, kind of on my back and I was trying to break ice to get closer to shore,” O'Rourke said. “But that that wasn't working very well. I grabbed him, threw him on to the ice, and yelled at him to lay flay and wiggle his way back to shore. That's what he was doing."
Body cam video shows Milford Police Department officers rushing towards the pond. They were seen using a life saver to pull O'Rourke back to shore. O'Rourke was weak and wet. However, firefighters quickly warmed him up.
On Monday, members of Milford's Fire Department were out on a different pond, going over a number of different scenarios and practicing techniques.
"The ice may look inviting, you may think its thick enough to venture out on,” Milford Fire Battalion Chief Anthony Fabrizi said. “We highly advise you don't because if you do fall through the ice, you literally have minutes to get out and at that point it’s a life threatening situation."
One that first responders said could have been worse, if O'Rourke didn't risk his own life, to save that boy.
"I’m no more a hero than anyone else,” O'Rourke said. “I think, would have done the same thing."
Both O'Rourke and the boy were taken to the hospital for observations. O'Rourke said he got a call from the parents and plans on reaching back out to them.
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