Iowa Teen Helps Save 83-Year-Old Man and His Dog After Jeep Plunges Into Icy Lake

An Iowa teen and four other men helped save an elderly man and his dog over the weekend after watching their Jeep plunge into a local lake.

Thomas Lee, 83, was heading to his son-in-law’s fishing shack with his 6-year-old dog Cooper around 3 p.m. on Saturday when his car plunged into East Okoboji Lake, according to the Des Moines Register.

The man and his dog “went through the ice” under the Highway 71 bridge, according to a press release from the Dickinson County Sheriff’s Office.

Joe Salmon, 17, was ice fishing and watching snowmobile races nearby when he saw the Jeep enter the water, per the Register‘s report.

After dialing 911, the teenager entered the icy water himself in an attempt to rescue the man and his dog, the Register reported.

Iowa Teen Jumps into Action to Save 83-Year-Old Man and His Dog Who Fell Through Ice

“I took one step and [the water] went to about my chest,” Salmon told the newspaper. “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.”

After breaking through the glass, Salmon managed to pull Cooper to safety. Lee got stuck multiple times before he managed to escape.

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Four other men — Corey McConnell, 30, of Spirit Lake; Kody Harrelson, 26, of Nevada; Cody Chester, 27, of Estherville; and Chris Parks, 27, of Hawarden — also assisted in the rescue, per the reports.

The sheriff’s office post said the group of men helped pull both the man and his dog to safety as their car sank to the bottom of the lake.

Video of the rescue — shared on Facebook via Drone Photographs by Tom Gustafson — shows the moments when both Lee and Cooper were successfully pulled from the submerged vehicle.

The lake was about 3 to 4 feet deep where the Jeep fell through, Park said, per the Register.

Iowa Teen Jumps into Action to Save 83-Year-Old Man and His Dog Who Fell Through Ice

A nearby business, called the Okoboji Store, gave all six men space to dry off following the harrowing ordeal, according to the sheriff’s office.

Lee was later transported to Lakes Regional Healthcare in Spirit Lake, the DCSO said. Both he and his dog are “doing well,” they added.

Salmon was assessed at the scene for minor cuts he received from the glass, but was otherwise uninjured, the Register reported. He was given some dry clothing from the Okoboji Store before returning to ice fishing.

“I’m happy that he was okay and the dog was okay,” Salmon said. “It was just crazy at the time. I’ve never done anything like that.”