Boy Drowns Trying To Save Friend Who Fell Into A Frozen Pond
An 11-year-old boy has drowned after trying to save his friend who plunged into the icy depths of a frozen pond in Queens, New York City.
Anthony Perez and Juan Umpierrez were playing around in Forest Park in the afternoon like normal kids do and then tragedy struck.
Umpierrez, 12, fell into the water and Perez came to his rescue; but as the young boy got his mate out of the water, he fell in and couldn't get himself out. The 12-year-old friend ran to raise the alarm and the New York City Fire Department was called.
Officers waded into the freezing cold pond to save the child, but despite their best efforts, Anthony died. New York Daily News reports that by the time officials arrived, the kid had been under the water for 30 minutes.
In a statement, FDNY Division 13 Deputy Chief George Healy wrote: "Two members of Ladder 142, and one member from Engine 294 entered the water, and were able to rapidly locate a child that was submerged under the water. The child was removed from the water and medical treatment began immediately, and the child was transported to Jamaica Hospital."
The news quickly reached Perez's neighbourhood, devastating his friends, family and neighbours.
"I'm going to call him a hero: He's a hero," Carmen Rivera, 51, told the New York Post. "He's friendly with a lot of people, not shy - he loves to help. He's a nice little kid."
Others who knew also described him as a 'good kid', 'so happy' and 'full of life'; and were sending their prayers to his family.
Deputy Chief George Healy says there were signs all around the pond encouraging people to stay off the seemingly strong ice because it won't support even a light individual.
Healy continued: "Members had to physically, with their hands, break through the ice and chop the ice so they could get to the area that they knew the child would most likely be in. They had to go underneath to get the child.
"Two members are at the hospital being treated for hypothermia.
"Again, the ice looks to be safe, it looks to be thick, but the temperature today was well above freezing. We implore parents - make sure your kids know the ice in the city of New York, on these lakes and ponds, is not safe."
Rest in peace Anthony Perez.
Featured Image Credit: New York City Fire Department/Facebook