Male Models Rescue Seven Boys from Frozen Central Park Pond
When a group of teens and preteens fell through the ice of a frozen pond in Central Park earlier this week, they were heroically saved by a pair of male models who were in the right place at the right time.
Bennett Jonas, 23, who hails from California, and Ethan Turmbull, 24, a native of Australia, both came to New York as aspiring actors and models. Monday night, they were skateboarding in Central Park when they saw seven boys – age 10 to 17 – fall through the ice of a pond that had frozen over.
“I look over, I saw six heads just trying to get to the shore,” Jonas explains. “The back one was probably a good 20 yards from dry land.”
Jonas spotted a ladder by the shore of the frozen lake, but it wasn’t long enough to reach the kids. So Jonas jumped into the water to help the kids escape the icy waters while Turmbull helped get them to safety after Jonas was able to pull them out of the water.
One by one, Jonas and Turmbull helped all seven to safety, although the last two were unconscious by the time Jonas got to them. For a minute, he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to reach the last kid.
“The only thing you could see was the back zipper of his backpack,” Jonas explains. “I grabbed his backpack not knowing if there was a body on it.”
By the time EMTs arrived, all seven had been pulled from the water. They were all taken to local hospitals and treated for hypothermia and other minor injuries.
Jonas says that it helped that he’s a long-time surfer and a former lifeguard. However, the water was far colder than he’s used to in California.
“I was terrified at first, but I wanted to make sure they got out,” he says. “It didn’t hit me at the time how long everything took. It was like a dream. I have no recollection it went fast or slow.”
Family members of the kids who were saved have been quick to express their gratitude to the two men who jumped into the water to save them. But Jonas and Turmbull chalk it up to being in the right place at the right time.
“I was in the park for a reason tonight,” Turmbull said. “I could have been anywhere right now, but I was 100 yards away, from kids who were drowning.”