B.C. teen rescued from frigid lake after falling through thin ice

A B.C. teen is thanking rescuers who plucked him from a frigid lake after he fell through thin ice while taking a walk.

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Denilson Ventura-Becker, 16, was attempting to cross the frozen body of water earlier this week when the ice suddenly gave out beneath him, sending him into the lake.

"I was walking on the ice because I thought it was thick enough, but it turns out it wasn't," the teen told CTV Vancouver. "It just suddenly cracked underneath me. I was scared and terrified."

The icy water quickly soaked Ventura-Becker's clothing and weighed down his backpack, pulling him in deeper.

The teen said he clung to a chunk of ice, trying to keep his head above the water.

"I was starting to get scared because I was starting to sink," he said. "I felt like I was slipping off and I couldn't feel anything, and I was starting to lose consciousness a little bit and things got fuzzy."

As Ventura-Becker struggled, his brothers, who'd been watching from the shoreline, ran to get help.

They rushed home to call 911 and notify their mother, Jamie Becker.

From there, Becker says she ran to the lake, desperate to save her son.

"I wanted to go and grab him," she said. "But the neighbours were like, 'No, you need to not have two of you in there.'"

Crews arrived on scene and attempted to rescue Ventura-Becker, throwing ropes toward him and sending an RCMP officer into the water.

Eventually, they managed to paddle a canoe out to the teen and pull him to safety.

Ventura-Becker was sent to hospital with mild hypothermia, and has since been released.

Oliver Fire Department Spokesperson Rob Graham said the teen was "very lucky" that crews managed to get him out in time, and that it's rare that rescuers have to save a person from falling through ice.

"This was our second ice water rescue in maybe about 20 years," he said.

Ventura-Becker and his mother said they also feel fortunate.

"I feel extremely blessed," Jamie Becker said. "It was absolutely amazing … how fast (the community) responded."

"I'm lucky to be here," the teen added.

With files from CTV Vancouver



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