Teens save man who fell through ice from drowning in Lake Okoboji
16-year-old Riley Rockman and 15-year-old Gannon Rockman were fishing on a lagoon near Triboji Beach when their day suddenly took an unexpected turn.
A man who was walking on Lake Okoboji with his pet cats had fallen through the ice and was desperately screaming for help.
"At first we looked at each other to see where we heard it from, and all the sudden we hear it again, and we just start taking off," Gannon said.
As the two cousins appeared on the scene, they let adrenaline and instinct take over.
"I had to take off my gloves, I got down onto my knees and helped pull him up onto the ice," Riley said. "Then I got the stroller with the two cats out."
But with the risk of hypothermia kicking in within a few minutes, the danger wasn't over yet. The boys knew they had to keep the man warm until professional medical help arrived.
"As we were getting him up to land, I went and grabbed a blanket for him, and to keep the cats warm I grabbed the ice heater," Gannon said.
On an ice fishing trip that started out just like any other, the boys never would have predicted they'd become heroes.
"I've always heard about trucks going in, people falling in the water, but I never thought I'd have to be in that situation," Gannon said.
Riley says he feels very fortunate that everything worked out the way it did, and is happy it didn't go much worse.
"It's weird to think that if we weren't out there that guy would've died," Gannon said. "I'm just glad we were there to help out."
The boys say they had never been part of an experience like this before, but are always prepared by bringing proper safety equipment with them when they go out ice fishing.