Old Man Treads on Thin Ice to Rescue Baby in Stroller on Frozen Lake – Story of the Day

Roshanak Hannani
Dec 27, 2021
08:55 A.M.
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Sofia decided to take a walk through the park with her baby to meet her friend, Diane. They got distracted, and her baby stroller rolled over the thin ice of the frozen lake. Then a hero showed up and did the impossible.

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Sofia bundled up her baby, Barbara, for a pleasant stroll. The weather was getting worse in Lake Park, Minnesota, but it was still manageable. Soon, winter would hit them in full force, and they wouldn’t be able to take their walks until spring.

She wanted to meet up with Diane and her dog at the park, so they set off. Her first stop was at Starbucks, where she got a pumpkin spice latte and a hot chocolate for her friend. It was a quick errand, and soon, Sofia was in the park with her baby in her stroller.

Sofia didn't notice the stroller moving with the wind. | Source: Shutterstock

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They agreed to meet by the benches near the lake, where they could talk peacefully. Diane saw them and started waving. Her dog’s tongue was lolling, which meant that they had already been there for a while.

“Hey! I’m sorry I’m late. I had to get Barbara all covered up. I didn’t expect it to be so windy today,” Sofia greeted.

“Oh, don’t worry. I played around with Sparky and enjoyed the scenery. Look, the lake is frozen already. Winter is right around the corner,” Diane commented.

“Yeah. But it’s thin ice. It’s still not that cold yet. Let’s sit down and catch up. You wanted to talk to me about something, right?” Sofia added as she placed the stroller next to the bench. They sat down, and Sparkie followed suit beside them.

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Sparkie started barking. | Source: Pexels

Diane started talking about her life, and Sofia responded in kind. Suddenly, the wind picked up, but they continued their conversation. Suddenly, Sparkie barked loudly. “Sparkie, sit down,” Diane commanded, not looking at the dog.

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But the dog wouldn’t shut up. He stood up and barked at the lake. Sofia took that moment to turn around and check on Barbara, but the stroller was gone! 

“OH MY GOD!” Diane yelled. Sofia turned back and saw her friend pointing at the lake.

The stroller had somehow made its way over the thin ice of the lake. “MY BABY!” she yelled and started running towards it. Diane grabbed her arm forcefully.

“Sofia, you can’t go there! It’s thin ice! It’ll break with your weight! I don’t know how the stroller didn’t break it already!” Diane cautioned.

“But it’s my baby! I have to get her!” Sofia yelled hysterically.

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An old man approached Sofia and offered to help. | Source: Pexels

“No, we have to call 911. Oh, better yet, let me get some of the park rangers. They’ll know what to do,” Diane suggested and ran off towards the park entrance with Sparkie. Sofia cried on the edge of the lake.

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How could I let this happen? she chastised herself. Just then, an older man with a cane approached her.

“Miss, what’s going on? Don’t get so near the edge, it’s dangerous,” the man warned her.

“I know, sir. But my baby is out there. The wind blew her stroller, and I was too distracted to notice. I’m the worst mother in the world!” Sofia cried to the stranger.

“Oh, wow. Well, we have to do something before the weight of the stroller breaks that ice. Don’t worry, miss. I’m Captain Dominick Koch. I was a firefighter for 40 years before retiring. I can do this,” Mr. Koch said.

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The ice started cracking. | Source: Pexels

“No, sir! It’s dangerous for you too!” Sofia begged him to stop, but he had already started treading the thin ice.

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“Don’t worry. I’ll go slowly,” Mr. Koch assured her. He took slow, steady steps through the frozen lake with his cane, and it seemed to be going well. But the ice under the stroller cracked unexpectedly. “Oh no!” Sofia screamed.

“Please be calm, ma’am,” Mr. Koch comforted her. Then the older man got down on his knees and spread his body on the ice. He crawled through the ice to reach the stroller, but there was another crack. Suddenly, the stroller shifted sideways.

The baby started crying, and Sofia got even more hysterical. “Barbara, mommy is here! I’m going after you!” she yelled and was about to step on the ice when Diane grabbed her.

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“Stop! Are you crazy! The ice has already cracked! What is that older man doing?! This is so dangerous!” Diane tried to reason with her.

Sofia cried, thinking her daughter was going to die. | Source: Pexels

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“The stroller is about to sink, Diane! That’s my child!” Sofia screamed and tried to pry her off, but Diane wouldn’t budge.

Meanwhile, Mr. Koch had gotten close enough to the stroller to hook his cane on the bottom part and keep it from sinking. Soon, Diane arrived with two park rangers, and one of them quickly crawled through the ice towards the older man.

The other ranger tried to get closer to the stroller from another angle to avoid cracking the ice further. He managed to grab it and pull it back as best he could until it reached the edge of the lake. Sofia grabbed her daughter and hugged her tightly.

The rangers steered Mr. Koch to the edge as well and helped him up. “Thank you! Thank you all so much! You have no idea…I can’t ever repay you!” Sofia cried while she rocked her baby in her arms.

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She held her daughter tightly and thanked everyone for her rescue. | Source: Pexels

“It was my pleasure, ma’am,” Mr. Koch replied with a smile. The rangers told them that without Mr. Koch, the stroller would have sunk into the lake before they reached it. Diane thanked them all, and the rangers went back to their posts.

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Mr. Koch was about to leave as well but Diane stopped him. “Sir, let us treat you to some hot cocoa. You just saved a baby’s life. It’s the least we could do,” she insisted.

“No, thank you, ma’am. Long ago, saving lives was my job, and I’ve been so bored in retirement that I almost forgot why I chose to be a firefighter. Thank you for reminding me of that. But be careful next time!” the old man said humorously and walked off.

What can we learn from this story?

  • Pay attention to your surroundings. Sofia should have noticed when the stroller started moving, but luckily, Sparkie alerted them.
  • Some people are born to be heroes. Mr. Koch might have been old but never forgot his true calling and helped them out.
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