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11-Year-Old Boy Pulls Father From Frozen Lake In Fishing Mishap

December 2, 1985

CENTER, N.D. (AP) _ An 11-year-old boy grabbed his father’s hand and yanked him to safety as the man plunged through thin ice into 14 feet of freezing lake water.

″A miracle. The good Lord was with us,″ said Derwood ″Duke″ Windhorst said Saturday of the action of his son, Dean. ″I can’t believe how he took control of that situation.″

Windhorst, 40, Dean and another son, Dustin, 6, were on an ice-fishing expedition on Nelson Lake in west-central North Dakota when the incident happened Friday.

″Cripe, I can’t swim,″ Windhorst said. His muscles cramped immediately and he was going into shock when he heard Dean yelling for him to grab the boy’s hand, Windhorst said.

″I know I weighed 250 pounds with my clothes full of water,″ said Windhorst, who was bundled against the near-zero cold. ″But he pulled me right out of there.″

Dean, who himself weighs 105 pounds, had sprawled on the ice to distribute his weight and had waved Dustin away from the scene, the elder Windhorst said. He made the rescue despite ice that was only about 2 inches thick, Windhorst said.

″I didn’t have time to be (scared),″ Dean said.

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