Two blokes, one of them an Aussie model, have been hailed as heroes after they risked their lives to save seven teenagers who fell through the ice in New York City‘s Central Park.
Ethan Turnbull, 24, from Sydney, and Bennett Jonas, 23, from San Clemente, California, were skateboarding nearby and saw the ice collapse.
“I went into the water, [Turnbull] followed me and the first two kids, jumped on top of me and I had to get them off,” he said.
“I think they all just panicked a little bit,” said Turnbull. “They were like overwhelmed, it was so absolutely freezing cold.”
The pair began pulling the teens to safety until emergency crews arrived, a few minutes later.
“[Turnbull] was just passing the kids at the end and I was just throwing them up and over the fence,” said Jonas.
“The last two at the end, the kid at the end was unconscious,” Turnbull told NBC New York. “[Jonas] got him out, he was kind of out of breath, and [Jonas] threw him to me. I just kind of minded him until he came to.”
The victims, who ranged in age from 15 to 16, were treated for hypothermia at the scene; NBC reports that some are recovering from hypothermia-related injuries at three nearby hospitals, but all are expected to be fine.
“I was in the park for a reason tonight,” Jonas told NBC. “I could have been anywhere right now, but I was 100 yards away, from kids who were drowning.”
‘Right place right time’ – Fortunate enough to have been in the position to help multiple younger generation New Yorker’s today. With out the help of my Buddy @bennett_jonas the outcome of this event would have been much different. Thanks to all the friends and family that have checked in ?? NYC #helpingothers #nbc #nbc4ny @nbcnews @dailymail
@ethanturnbull and I tonight went out to Skateboard around Central Park. Passing a frozen lake we saw a group of 6 kids go though the ice. We ran over and immediately we’re put in the toughest situation I think We will have to go through. 6 kids screaming for help being pulled down by each other, soaking backpacks and huge jackets. I had to make a decision to get in the middle of that or watch them drown. When I got about waist deep two of the kids jumped on top of me and pulled me under. I had to pick them both up and throw them to Ethan. I then grabbed a ladder and pulled the next 2 in. Behind them were two lifeless bodies that I knew I couldn’t get too. I swam out and grabbed the last two guys and was able to get them to shore and keep them alive. I feel humbled and grateful that God called me to be there tonight, I’m still shaking and am completely shook by what I experienced, but I’m alive and so are 6 other kids who got very lucky tonight.
Photo: NBC / Facebook.