A former U.S. Marine, Matt Duckham, knows what it's like to be scared but he also knows how to handle stressful situations.
One day, Matt's family dog, Patches, ran off towards a frozen pond in Columbia Township in Michigan near his house. Patches ended up falling through the ice. Patches didn’t have much time as her body temperature began to drop.
Matt's mom ran after Patches and tried to pull her to dry land. It wasn't until she fell in herself that Matt knew he had to act fast or he would lose both of them.
Matt stepped out onto the frozen pond and soon fell victim to the pond's wrath. His instincts kicked in and he used the tactics he had learned from the military. He began slashing his forearms into the ice, breaking it until he reached solid ice that would support his weight.
"That water was rough, but your will to live overrode everything else," Matt said. "I was concerned about my mom, my dog, and my kids. I wasn't worried about the cold."
His determination to save his mother and dog paid off. He was able to grab his pup and his mom out of the icy water.
"I grabbed (Patches) and swung her up onto the ice and grabbed my mom and pulled her out then hauled it back to the house to get warm," Duckham said.
As they were headed back to the house, firefighters were already on scene. The three were handed warm towels and medically checked out.
"Most bodies of water have eight inches to a foot of ice on them when temperatures drop below freezing," said Columbia Township Fire Chief, Scott Cota.
The Duckham's pond evidently had three bubblers that kept the ice very thin. Cota reminds everyone that ice is very dangerous. "No ice is safe ice."
What do you think about Matt's bravery? Share your thoughts with us on our Facebook page! In other news, a young boy was angry about a veteran cemetery. What he did to fix it will make you wish there were more kids like him. Check the story out here.