23-year-0ld Bennett Jonas from California and Ethan Turmbull, a 24-year-old native of Australia, are being heralded as heroes after they rescued 7 teens and preteens who fell through a frozen pond in New York City’s Central Park.
The two men had moved to New York City to pursue acting and model careers. Before kicking off their careers they rescued seven boys, age 10 to 17, after they fell into the pond.
“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 used some quick thinking to find a nearby ladder by the shore. Unfortunately, the ladder wasn’t long enough to save the children. Instead, Johan risked his own life by jumping into the icy water to save the drowning group of kids.
Turmbull followed suit and they were able to bring all seven potential victims to safety. The last two children were unconscious by the time Jonas reached them. He nearly couldn’t reach one of the children.
“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.”
EMT’s arrived and took the children to the hospital where they were treated for hypothermia and other minor injuries.
It turns out Jonas is a long-time surfer and a former lifeguard.
“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.”
Both 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.”
They may play down their part in the rescue but these two men are no doubt heroes.