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Boy rescued from frozen pond 'awake and coherent,' family says

NEW HARMONY, Washington County — An 8-year-old New Harmony boy who was pulled out of an icy pond in a heroic rescue is "awake and coherent," according to the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

On Wednesday, the family of the boy only identified as Jason issued a statement through the sheriff's office updating the public on the status of their loved one whose rescue has captured national attention.

Jason's father is calling the episode "a Christmas miracle."

"The father said Jason's situation has been an example to their family that 'God hears and answers prayers,'" the sheriff's office said.

On Christmas Day, Jason chased his dog onto a frozen pond near New Harmony. About 25 feet from shore, the boy fell through the ice, according to police. Washington County Sheriff's Sgt. Aaron Thompson was one of the first emergency responders on scene and immediately got into the water, breaking the ice with his hands and arms to reach the area where Jason fell in.

Thompson was able to find the boy under the water and pull him to shore. Investigators believe the boy may have been in the water for as long as 30 minutes.The 8-year-old was flown by medical helicopter to Primary Children's Hospital.

"Jason is reported as being awake and coherent, responding to questions from family (and) hospital staff," the sheriff's office reported.

Jason's family has declined all interviews, requesting privacy for now.