Must Watch: Teen saves 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.

Lee was heading to his son-in-law’s fishing shack when his car fell through the ice, about 200 miles northwest of Des Moines.

“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.

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 young man, Joe Salmon, had the will and wherewithal to rush towards to danger to help someone but had to borrow a tool to do that.

I don’t know how kids are raised up north, but as a Miami boy I was raised to always have something capable of breaking a car window and cutting a seat belt on me or in my car.

That’s because there are so many canals in Miami that going off the road and into a canal and drowning is a real possibility.  It happens multiple times every year.

I would take that same attitude and multiply it a thousand times if I were driving on ice over a lake.

As the motto of the US  Coast Guard goes: Semper Paratus.

It’s the same motto as the Boy Scouts: Be Prepared.

There is no more critical and valuable tool in your tool box than a quality knife.

If you can, multi-tool or Swiss Army style knife is better, but have the tool on hand you need for emergency extrication.

Good job Mr. Salmon.  Now somebody buy him a quality knife.


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By J. Kb

2 thoughts on “Hero teen shows why you should always carry a knife”
  1. If I’m dressed, I have at least one knife.
    If I’m out and about and have a car key with me, I have one of those window breaker / seat belt cutter gadgets; since there are rather a lot of bodies of water in close proximity to roads around here, I’ve attached one of those to each car key.
    I may or may not have other things that could be used to break windows in an emergency.
    I do my best to lead an unexciting life, and part of that is anticipating potential trouble, being somewhat prepared to deal with it, and then as far as practical avoiding it.

  2. I will confess, when it comes to knives, well….I have a problem, I have a blade addiction. And one of the best purchases several years ago was the Swiss Army Rescue Tool. It has all the tools required to break free from an automobile. I have tested it on a motorless car and in under a minute you can exit the car; cutting the seat belt, breaking the window, clearing the opening enough to slide through. I also have a Winkler Rescue Axe Gen 4, which can break into any automobile from the outside in minutes. I have one in each car and truck. Medford Knives also has had many excellent tools over the years designed just for such situations. Dollar for dollar though, you can’t beat the Swiss Amry Rescue Tool.

Only one rule: Don't be a dick.

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