Children rescued from icy Glenshire pond
It was fortunate that California Highway Patrol Officer Larry Bousquet and Civilian Vehicle Inspection Specialist Larry Stock were outside working on a car when they heard two children screaming in Glenshire Pond last Monday afternoon.
Bousquet and his wife, Esther, were on their way to Stock’s Glenshire home when they noticed two children walking along the edge of the north side of the pond. About 10 minutes later, Stock, while performing maintenance on Bousquet’s car, heard screaming and cries for help, and realized the children had fallen through the ice.
“These kids who were walking were in the water,” Bousquet said. Bousquet, Esther and Stock immediately ran to the edge of the pond to respond to the sounds of distress. “We saw the two youths had fallen through the ice and were unable to get themselves out. They had fallen through separate areas of the ice, approximately 40 feet apart from one another. They were struggling to maintain their positions at the broken edges of the ice, and they were screaming for help. My wife and I got in our vehicle and sped to the other side of the subdivision while calling dispatch via 9-1-1.”
Within two minutes, the Bousquets were running down the embankment to the victims. They said both children appeared to be panicking and in shock. The boy was panicking and gulping water, with his head bobbing under. The girl, he said, was holding onto the the side of the ice.
Bousquet located a piece of PVC pipe approximately 30 feet in length that was next to a nearby house. He and Esther jumped in the water and began breaking through the ice to reach the children.
“The boy appeared to be be in a panic and was obviously drowning,” Bousquet said. “His arms were flailing about and he had a terrified look on his face.”
Bousquet coached the boy to grab onto the pipe, and was able to pull him out and drag him across the ice to the shore.
An extension cord was thrown to the girl, who was too weak to grab it. Stock arrived with a ladder, and Bousquet and Stock tried to get her to grab onto the ladder, but she was still too weak to hold on. Stock waded deeper in to the water to reach the girl and brought her to the shore.
By the time Nevada County Sheriff’s Office and Truckee Fire Protection District arrived at the scene, Bousquet, Esther and Stock had both children out of the water.
A neighbor estimated the children were in the water between five and seven minutes, according to NCSO Deputy Ron Smith.
TFPD transported the children to Tahoe Forest Hospital for precautionary hypothermia.
Smith said a neighbor said she saw the children banging on the ice with hockey sticks before they fell through the ice.
The ice was only about one inch thick where they fell through.
According to NCSO and TFPD officials, Glenshire Pond gets a lot of ice traffic now that winter has arrived and the pond is frozen.
But situations like this show skating on the pond can be dangerous.
“People are ice skating out there all the time, but its been so warm out,” TFPD Chief Mike Terwilliger said. “Any time you ice skate on a natural water source, there’s a certain liability because you don’t know how thick the ice is.”
Smith said there are no laws or ordinances that prohibit people from being on the ice.
“We can and routinely do go out there and recommend they get off the ice and that it’s not safe,” he said. “It looks solid, but on a warm day can get soft.”
Esther Bousquet, who said her husband was modest, said she was able to see Larry in action for the first time and was completely amazed.
“I really felt that if Larry hadn’t been there to take care of the situation, it really would have been a whole lot worse,” she said. “I have never seen my husband in action in the line of duty. The calmness in which he took care of the situation amazed me.”
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