Fire officials say two teenagers were rescued after they fell through ice and plunged into freezing waters Tuesday afternoon, reports newjersey.news12.com.
“I was terrified. So terrified. I thought we weren’t going to make it. We were that close,” says Shi’eym Lennon, 16.
The two teens say that they thought that the frozen Passaic River was strong enough to support them and tried to cross it.
Paterson Battalion Chief Brian Rathbone says he went out onto the ice without a wetsuit. The teens were screaming for help and suffering from hypothermia.
“I low-crawled as fast as I could, as quick as I could out there to the point where I broke through the ice,” Rathbone says.
Rathbone swam the rest of the way while firefighter Wesley Mann threw a ring in between the two boys. As they swam back to shore, the ice became too thick and Chief Rathbone had to break the ice apart with his body.
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