HAYDEN LAKE, Idaho -- Two teenagers are ok after they fell through the ice on Avondale Lake on Saturday afternoon.
Nick Stilwell and his friend Josh had broken through the ice several hundred yards away from shore, officials said. One had crawled up onto the ice and was attempting to hold up the other teenager, who was clinging to the ice.
“We walked all the way over to there and he jumped right there and we broke in and I crawled up on the ice right there and they had to come out and get me,” Nick said.
Nick and Josh thought was a harmless exploration onto the Avondale Lake turned into a rescue that could have been deadly.
“We were in the water for like an hour and a half total. My friend was in there whole time but I got up onto the ice about 45 minutes but I wouldn't leave my friend,” Nick explained.
At that point Nick held his leg out for Josh to hold onto while both screamed for help. Eventually neighbors heard the boys and called 911.
“He kept on saying he was going to die and I told him he wasn't and I kept telling him we had to pray do that God would help us. I didn't want Josh to die because he is my best friend,” Nick said.
Dive and rescue team members from three local agencies fought through the thin ice and slush to reach the teenagers. Members of the community watching helped the dive team to pull the teens to safety.
“My core temperature was 89 something in the ambulance, my hands were all swollen and puffy because it was so cold,” he said.
Both were rushed to Kootenai Health with severe hypothermia and medical issues. Nick was released from the hospital by Saturday. Josh was released Monday and is doing much better.