Firefighters in Massachusetts undertook a harrowing rescue, using dry suits and putting themselves in danger, to rescue a toddler and his parents who fell through ice into a frozen pond.
The family, a 3-year-old boy and two adults in their 40s, were walking nearly 100 feet from the shore of Spy Pond in Arlington, Mass., Sunday night when the ice collapsed underneath their weight.
“We decided to go for a stroll on the pond,” the mother, Maria, who declined to give her last name, told local affiliate WCVB. “We didn’t think, yeah, not thinking too much.”
Police and fire officials first got a call for help around 5:30 p.m. that evening from a relative of the family who had stayed behind on shore.
“Three people have fallen into the water at Linwood Circle,” the woman, Kelley Edwards, said in the recorded 911 call.
“The fire department is on the way. Hang on! Hang on!,” she could be heard yelling to her stranded relatives in the call’s background, WCVB reports.
Firefighters responded to the scene just minutes later. Their first attempt at a rescue, throwing rescue disks attached to ropes out to the family, failed when the ropes proved too short.
The rescuers, according to Arlington officials, then donned dry suits and attempted to walk out on the ice to reach the family, stranded in six to eight feet of water, but saw the ice collapse under their weight as well.
One firefighter finally swam out to the family and pulled the toddler in from the water on a rescue sled. A collective effort between the two parents and the firefighters pulling each other to shore resulted in their rescue as well.
In all, the family was in the water for less than 10 minutes, officials said.
All three family members were taken to area hospitals for observation and to be treated for hypothermia and were released Monday, according to WCVB.
“We are all doing very well. It was a very bad experience,” the mother, Maria, told the station.