An Iowa teen, strangers helped save man and dog from an icy lake — and a drone caught it all
After a Jeep fell through the ice Saturday, 17-year-old Joe Salmon jumped into the water to save Thomas Lee, 83, and his dog Cooper, 6, who were trapped.
Their Jeep fell through the ice under the Highway 71 bridge in Dickinson County, according to a Facebook Post from the Dickinson County Sheriff's Office.
Lee was heading to his son-in-law's fishing shack when his car fell through the ice.
"I want to thank the people who helped and the store that took the dog in and dried him off," Lee said.
Corey McConnell, 30; Kody Harrelson, 26; Cody Chester, 27; and Chris Parks, 27; also helped pull the man and dog to safety, the sheriff's office post said.
Parks estimated the lake is 3-4 feet deep at where the Jeep broke through and was near the bottom by the time help arrived.
Salmon — a wrestler, football player and track runner — was ice fishing with his mother while watching snowmobile races on East Okoboji Lake when he saw the Jeep around 3 p.m.
Salmon grabbed his phone and dialed 911. Lee appeared to be in shock as Salmon and the four others told him to get out, he said. Then he heard someone say something was moving in the back.
"I took one step and [the water] went to about my chest," he said. "I got on the bumper of the rear and tried opening the back door, but all the windows were locked, but one guy gave me a knife and I hit the back glass a couple of times."
The glass shattered and Salmon was able to scoop a dog out of the back. By that time, the water was already up to the driver's waist.
Lee couldn't get out because his foot was stuck between the seat and the center console, Salmon said, so he had to pull the console up to release him. He got stuck once more before he was able to get out.
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Lee was transported to Lakes Regional Healthcare. He and the dog, named Cooper, were not injured.
Salmon was examined by the ambulance crew for minor cuts from the glass and received dry clothes from the Okoboji Store. He was cleared to continue fishing and later caught two, according to the post.
"I'm happy that he was OK and the dog was OK. It was just crazy at the time," Salmon said. "I've never done anything like that."
Tweet over Salmon's missing shoe catches national attention
During the rescue, Salmon lost his shoes in the water. A tweet from the Okoboji High School boys track team tried to get Nike to replace the shoes.
Nike hasn't chimed in yet, but ESPN's Marty Smith pledged to send a pair of Jordans. Salmon also received an offer from the Track Guy Foundation.
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Noelle Alviz-Gransee is a breaking news reporter at the Des Moines Register. Follow her on Twitter @NoelleHannika or email her at NAlvizGransee@registermedia.com.
This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: See an Iowa high school athlete, strangers helped save a man and dog