Incredible moment when police officers in a Chicago suburb saved 9-year-old boy from drowning in an icy pond he fell through while trying to retrieve his soccer ball
- Two heroic police officers jumped into a pond to save a 9-year-old boy who fell through the ice onto a frozen pond while retrieving a soccer ball
- The dramatic rescue was captured on an officer’s bodycam
- The boy and the two officers were all treated at a local hospital, but were subsequently released in stable condition
- The boy’s mother said, “I thought my son couldn’t be here to see Thanksgiving. I want to thank all the people who saved him’
- One of the rescuers said his adrenaline was so high he didn’t notice the cold
- In addition to the rescue, the Aurora Police Department gave the boy a new soccer ball on Thanksgiving
Incredible bodycam footage showed the moment two suburban Chicago police officers rescued a 9-year-old boy from an icy pond after the child fell through the ice while trying to retrieve a soccer ball.
The incident occurred around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Chicago suburb of Aurora. Local police and firefighters were called to the scene to rescue the boy and a woman who entered the water in an attempt to save him.
Multiple officers deployed water rescue kits, used to pull people to shore, on the banks of the pond when two officers entered the water. It took a concerted effort to get the pair to safety.
The child suffered minor injuries and was rushed to a local hospital when he was safely removed from the water. The two officers were also treated for minor injuries while the woman who entered the water was treated at the scene.
All three were discharged from the hospital in stable condition.
In an interview with the boy’s mother posted on the Aurora Police Department’s Facebook page, she says she didn’t think her son would be with her for Thanksgiving when she saw him struggling in the water.
She said, “I thought my son couldn’t be here to see Thanksgiving. I want to thank all the people who saved him.’
The incident occurred around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Chicago suburb of Aurora
Local police and firefighters arrived on the scene to rescue the boy and a woman who entered the water in an attempt to save him
One of the officers who entered the water told Aurora Police Officer Andrew Soderlund the Daily Herald: “I knew they weren’t making any progress to return. … They certainly needed some help.’
Soderlund said the pair were 15 to 20 feet from shore.
In a separate interview with CBS-Chicago, Soderlund said, “We’ll drive over. You play that scenario in your head a bit, what exactly are we going to see when we get there?’
He added, “They were pretty far out there – and it was clear they weren’t making any way to get closer to shore.”
One of the officers who went into the water, Andrew Soderlund, Aurora police officer, told the Daily Herald: “I knew they were not making any progress in returning. … They definitely needed some help’
In a separate interview with CBS Chicago, Soderlund said, “We’re driving over there. You play that scenario in your head a bit, what exactly are we going to see when we get there?’
Soderlund admitted in the interview that he’s not an “Olympic swimmer,” saying, “I know I’m, you know, not an Olympic swimmer. So I knew that, hey, I’m not going to be able to swim with two other people who were in the water. I can’t swim back with them.
He continued, “But if I can get to them, grab them, the other officers — they would be able to pull the rope that I had tied to my belt and we would all be able to get out of the water to get to that point.’
Soderlund also said, “That adrenaline rush that happens in such a situation – I don’t remember the cold at all.”
He continued, “I originally started walking out, I was like ‘Wow, this isn’t bad – I can get up,’ and then it just dropped.” It felt like it wasn’t bottom.’
Soderlund described removing his body armor before entering the water so it wouldn’t strain him.
In addition to the rescue, the police gave the boy a new soccer ball on Thursday. Soderlund told CBS Chicago, “I don’t necessarily consider myself a hero.”
Soderlund, who joined the force in 2017, also trained as a paramedic.
He has previous experience with cold water. In 2019, Soderlund and his colleagues raised $11,000 for the Special Olympics by taking part in an Arctic swim and jumping into freezing water in the middle of winter.