It happened on Christmas Day in the small community of New Harmony, Utah. An 8-year-old boy was chasing his dog across a pond when the ice cracked and the child plunged into frigid water. Another child saw him fall, but couldn't help, so he ran and told family members who reported the incident at about 5 p.m. One of the first to arrive on the scene was Sgt. Aaron Thompson, a Washington County Sheriff's deputy. A bystander told him the boy's hand had just been seen above the ice, so Thompson stripped off his police gear and used his fists and forearms to punch his way through the ice, shown here.

                                                                                                               Alex Cabrero  KSL-TV
"The ice got thicker. I couldn't break it with my arms and fists anymore, so I had to jump up and down and put my weight on it to get it to break," he said. Eventually he was wading up to his neck in 37 degree water, about 25 feet from shore. "Really, I couldn't feel anything. I didn't notice anything when I was doing it. I knew that time was of the essence. I had a very short window to get that child out of the water." Finally he bumped into the boy's body and lifted his head above water. He'd been underwater 30 minutes, and when Thompson brought him to shore EMT's rushed him to the hospital in a rescue helicopter. His condition has not been released, but deputies say they are hopeful.