Boy, Dog Saved In Separate Water Rescues

By: Gary Smollen Email
By: Gary Smollen Email

Strong winds made any movement problematic and fluctuating temperatures have weakened the ice on lakes, ponds and rivers. First responders were called out twice to different water rescues close to one another Sunday afternoon.

The first was on the Platte River off Big Island Road south of Fremont where 14-year-old Josh Kern found himself in a tight spot when an ice jam broke while he was in the water trying out new hip waders.

"They were huge, they were about the size of a truck,” said Josh. “They are huge chunks. The fire department was trying to come across and it was knocking some of them over so I wasn't going to try and get back across."

The Fremont boy kept his head and did the right thing by getting to an island and waiting for help. He remained there for about 90 minutes until the Valley Water Rescue Team brought him to safety around 12:30 p.m. Josh was not hurt.

Meanwhile, Promise almost didn't make it. The 125-pound Rottweiler fell through the ice on a wastewater pond near her home. Cedar Bluffs Fire & Rescue answered the call.

"There was no time left, she was laying her head sideways on the ice and when we hollered for her, myself and the other responders, she wouldn't bring her head up for nothing,” said owner Sheila Johnson.

Promise had precious few moments left, but she's a special dog. "Her name is Promise because I made a promise when we first got together before we were married, this was my promise to her,” said owner Wayne Johnson.

Promise is back home and after a couple of baths and a nap is just about back to normal.

There is a connection between the two water rescues. The Cedar Bluffs team was assembled to help Josh, but was called off. Moments later, the call about Promise came in. If not already assembled, the volunteers probably would not have reached the dog in time.

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