Joe Bredestege, saves the lives of two children as he pulled them out of the icy depths of Delhi Park’s Clearview Lake on Saturday evening.
Late Saturday evening, two 11 year-old boys, Kayden King and Ethan Spurlock, faced eminent danger as the ice they were playing on gave away. Lucky for them, College of Engineering and Applied Science student, Joe Bredestege, just happened to be passing by as the boys were swallowed up by Delhi Park’s Clearview Lake.
Bredestege was walking through the park with his sisters when they saw King fall through the ice first, quickly followed by Spurlock. The 18 year-old freshman mechanical engineering major, who is also an Eagle Scout and a recently certified lifeguard, took quick action upon instinct.
“I was on the other side of the lake,” Bredestege said. “By the time I got to the other side both boys were in the water clinging on to the ice. I knew the worst case scenario would be that I would have to break through the ice to get to the shore.”
Bredestege strategically inched his way across the remaining ice, spreading his weight evenly as he worked his way out toward the boys. He was able to pull King out but as the boy grabbed onto him the extra weight caused the ice to crack further, giving out beneath Bredestege’s feet. As Bredestege fell into the icy water, he pushed King onto a stretch of stable ice and the boy scooted to the edge of lake to safety.
Across the lake, Hal Wane, 45, sat in his home watching the second quarter of the Bengal’s playoff game. He just so happened to peer out of his living room window at the lake and noticed the commotion.
“I looked out there and saw somebody standing on the ice. I didn’t know what was going on. Then I saw a big splash and I raced to the garage to find something to help the person out of the lake. The first thing I found was an extension cord and I ran across the street. The closer I got to the lake I could see that there were more people in the lake. I was just looking, thinking, ‘Ok, I gotta do something, I gotta do something’,” Wane said
By the time Wane reached the lake, Bredestege was holding Spurlock up above the water and was struggling to keep himself above the icy depths.
“The cold started to get to me. I was a little fatigued at that point,” Bredestege said. “When I started going under, it occurred to me that I might not get out but I told myself that wasn’t going to happen.”
Wane tossed the extension cord out to them and Spurlock was able to grab onto it first. Bredestege had more difficulty grabbing the cord as his cold wet hands kept slipping off of it. Finally, he latched on and Wane pulled him to safety.
An unknown person driving a pickup truck had witnessed the struggle and called 911 from his cell phone, Wane said. The Delhi Township Police Department received the emergency call at 5:41 pm and arrived on the scene quickly.
The boys and Bredestege received immediate medical treatment and refused to be taken to the hospital.
Delhi Fire Chief Bill Zoz was impressed with the quick thinking of the rescuers but said others should take extreme caution and dial 911 immediately in case of an emergency. “Hypothermia sets in immediately. The blood vessels clamp off and all the blood flows to the core, the heart, brain and major organs. The feet and hands go numb right away,” he said. “Within five to six minutes mental faculties are gone and they become lethargic.”
Bredestege and Wane said they’d do it all over again in a heartbeat. Both of the boys and their families are extremely grateful for the quick thinking and heroic action of their New Year’s angels.