Hunters rescued after boy falls through ice at Terry Lake in Longmont during hunting trip Saturday

LONGMONT, Colo. - Three people were rescued after a boy fell through the ice at Terry Lake in Longmont Saturday evening.

The boy was hunting geese with three adults when they fell through the ice about 100 yards from shore, the Boulder County Sheriff's Office reported.

Bart Beck told 7NEWS they always drag a boat behind them to haul their gear when they are crossing the lake to get to their favorite hunting spot.

"We've been doing it for 15 years, just in case." said Beck. "This was the first time we ever needed it."

Beck said the ice was strong when he crossed the lake with two friends and his 11-year-old son, Hobie, in the morning, but on the way home after a day of hunting, it seemed much thinner.

"We saw the guy at the front of the line go down and then we all four went into the water," said Beck. "My first concern was getting Hobie in the boat and then we call climbed in."

On top of everything else, however, they soon discovered the boat was leaking.

"With our weight and the weight of the goose, it started to go down," said Beck. "And we were bailing water from a 5-gallon bucket, stuck in this ice hole in a sinking boat."

Beck said he quickly discovered the ice around the boat was too thin to support a grown man, so his son had to crawl across his body to a stronger surface and run for help.

He went to the nearest house to ask for help at about 5:45 p.m., officials said.

"Yeah, if it wasn't for this little guy, we might still be there," Beck said with a smile. "I’m really proud of the way he handled himself as far as being able to get out there, running to get help and being brave and smart."
 
Emergency personnel from the Boulder County Sheriff's Office, Longmont Emergency Unit, Boulder Emergency Squad and Mountain View Fire were able to reach the men around 6:30 p.m. and get them off of the lake.

The men were treated for symptoms of hypothermia but were not sent to a hospital.

It is Hobie Beck's first hunting season, and he says he's learned a valuable lesson.

"To not necessarily trust ice all the time and if it looks scary, hug the edge," he said with a smile.
 
His dad says from now on, he'll trust his instincts when the ice looks thin -- and make sure his boat doesn't have any leaks.
 
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