An 11-year-old boy died Tuesday after falling through a frozen pond in New York City.
The boy, Anthony Perez, fell into Strack Pond in Forest Park in Queens after rescuing a 12-year-old friend who first fell through the frozen pond.
The two were hanging out at the pond when Perez’ friend fell through the frozen water after walking too far out on the pond. Perez rushed toward his friend to pull him out of the water, but he was unable to get out of the frigid waters himself.
After his friend called for help, three firefighters and three police officers arrived at the scene, with two firefighters diving into the pond to rescue Perez.
“They were in about chest deep water wading through the water. At some point the ice did firm up,” FDNY Deputy Chief George Healy said. “They had to physically with their hands break through the ice and chop the ice so they could get to the area they knew that the child would most likely be in, the opening in the ice.”
The rescuers found Perez under a break in the ice, but he was no longer breathing. He was taken to Jamaica Medical Center in serious condition and died after around two hours. Authorities said Perez was submerged for about half an hour before he was rescued.
The two firefighters who dove into the pond to rescue the boy were taken to a local hospital to be treated for hypothermia. The older boy that Perez rescued was not injured.
Healy emphasized that the ice on lakes and ponds are not safe, and he urged parents to educate their children about its dangers.
“There are signs around all the lakes in the city and we implore you, tell your children, the ice is not safe, it’s not going to support your weight, and it can have tragic consequences,” said Healy.