Zac Thomas of Oswego helped rescue a boy who fell into an icy retention pond. | Submitted
Updated: February 18, 2014 6:19AM
Zac Thomas of Oswego, 14, was on his skateboard to take his younger brother home from school when he saved a young boy who had fallen into an icy retention pond.
The incident happened at around 3:45 p.m. Tuesday on the east side of Washington Boulevard between Mill Stream Lane and Clearwater Lane near Fox Chase Elementary School in Oswego.
Zac, an eighth-grader at Thompson Junior Middle School, was already on alert that something bad might happen when he saw how the fourth-grader had fallen behind while walking home from school with his two middle school sisters.
Zac, his younger brother Ryan, and a friend actually saw the boy fall into the icy water.
Zac, a member of Oswego Boy Scout Troop 63 and a Cub Scout den chief for Pack 336, seemed to know naturally what to do next. “I jumped down a retaining wall and ran down a grassy area, thinking I have got to get him out of there,” Zac said.
Zac explained that it took about 10 seconds for him to jump down the five-foot drop from the retaining wall and he remembered those life-saving messages from Mom and Dad and from Boy Scouts.
“I stretched my arm out to get him out of there and made sure he was OK. I asked if he was all right. He said that he was fine and thanked me. I could tell he was scared,” Zac said.
Zac explained the boy was unable to touch the bottom of the pond with his feet and was struggling to get out of the water on his own.
“My Mom and Dad have always told us not to go on the pond because we never know when it can break,” Zac said. “Right after I got the boy out, I told my brother and his friend not to go out on the ice.”
He said he didn’t tell anybody at school what happened the next day.
“I am just happy the boy is OK,” Zac said.
Angela Prusinski said she was surprised to hear how her son saved a boy’s life when she returned home.
“My son waited until I got home from work to tell me that he has saved a little boy,” Prusinski said. “Zac said the water was up to the boy’s chest, but he didn’t think what he had done was a big deal.”
Prusinski said she really realized how fortunate it was that her son had seen the boy fall into the icy water and run to his rescue when she spoke to the boy’s mother the next morning.
“She was in shock and upset to hear her son had fallen through the ice, it was the first she had heard of it,” Prusinski said.
“The mother told us that her son and his two sisters cannot swim and rarely do kids walk home from school, so it was possible that no one would have seen her boy struggling in the water,” Prusinski said.
“Zac is a very good boy,” the mother said. “He doesn’t want all of the attention, but he is starting to realize that he saved a little boy’s life.
“This is a time to remind kids to stay away from the pond. It could have been a very different outcome,” Prusinski said.