“He wasn’t responding. He was just looking at me… it was scary.”
A Texas teen has captured the dramatic moment she and her scuba diver granddad saved the life of an 11-year-old boy.
Caitlyn Thomas, 18, was dragging her feet about taking her dog Kroger for a walk in the biting cold on Wednesday — but she is very glad she went in the end.
The Jefferson High School senior told ArkLaTex she was walking along a frozen pond when she spotted something unusual.
“I was playing on my phone and then I look up and I see this little image in the water and I walk up to it and realize it a little boy,” she said. “It instantly clicked in my brain like, ‘Oh my gosh, I have to help him!'”
She called out to the child, neck deep in the ice water — but he couldn’t even reply.
“He wasn’t responding. He was just looking at me,” she recalled. “It was scary.”
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She immediately began banging on neighbors doors, but couldn’t get a reply. Knowing she would waste valuable seconds trying to describe her exact location to emergency responders, the quick-thinking teen instead called her granddad Randy Thomas, who not only lived just one block away, but was also a trained Scuba rescue diver.
Minutes later he was there, pulling right up to the edge of the water in his truck. He tried to throw a rope to the child, but he was so cold he couldn’t move his arms.
So, despite wearing just jeans and a long-sleeved T-shirt, Thomas plunged straight into the frigid waters.
Dramatic footage shot by Caitlyn shows her granddad wading right out to the deep middle of the pond, securing the boy with a rope he’d attached to his truck, before slowly hauling him back to the bank. A neighbor spotted the commotion and came out to join the rescue, while Caitlyn’s dog Kroger even tried to help out too,
The boy made it to the embankment cold, stunned, and shoeless — but conscious.
By the time first responders arrived, the boy was already at home with his mom getting warm. Marion County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement, “The quick thinking of the caller and the actions of the neighbor helped save the juvenile from further harm.”
Caitlyn told the site she did not know how long the boy had been out there, but it was long enough for his tracks to have been completely covered by the falling snow.
She said she had never seen the pond frozen over in her lifetime.
Elsewhere in Texas — currently in the grips of a deadly and unprecedented winter storm —another 11-year-old boy was not so lucky.
Cristian Pavon Pineda, froze to death in his bed on Tuesday after his family’s mobile home in Conroe lost power and heat; the family are now suing power grid operator ERCOT for $100m.