An 8-year-old Utah boy is recovering after reportedly chasing his dog across a frozen pond and falling through the ice.
According to The Washington Post, the boy became trapped about 25 feet from shore on Christmas Day. Another child who witnessed the incident ran and alerted the boy’s parents.
Minutes later, Washington County Sheriff’s Sergeant Aaron Thompson arrived at the scene and jumped into action. Thompson said he stomped through the ice before jumping into the frigid water, KSL reported.
“I just made the decision I was going to go get him,” Thompson said during a news conference Tuesday. “I knew what I was getting into. I knew how cold that ice would be. I’ve dove under the water before. I knew about how much time I had in there.”
“I knew exactly what I was getting into when I got into that water.”
Once in the water, Thompson reportedly used his arms and fists to bust through the ice and locate the boy. He recalled using his body to break ice that was too thick.
But, after a few minutes, the sergeant was losing hope.
“I was getting desperate,” he said.
Thompson–who is a former lieutenant for the sheriff’s department dive team–ultimately located the boy and got his head above water before getting them back to shore, the station reported.
Thompson reportedly suffered nerve damage and numbness to two of his fingers as Monday night. Meanwhile, authorities estimated that the 8-year-old was in the water for 30 minutes–something that possibly worked in his favor.
“The temperature of the water was huge in this case to help that boy recover. The colder it is, the longer we have [to find him],” he said.
Authorities revealed Wednesday that the boy, named Jason, is awake and doing well. His family has called the boy’s rescue and recovery a “Christmas miracle,” according to the Associated Press.
Officials said the boy’s dog also survived the ordeal.
[Featured Image: Sergeant Aaron Thompson/Washington County Sheriff’s Office]