A stray cat got a Christmas miracle when a college wrestler jumped into a frozen lake to save it from drowning.
Twenty-one-year-old Darden Schurg was at his father’s house in Hobart, Indiana when he spotted a feral cat walking on an ice-covered Lake George.
Moments later, the ice gave way and the cat fell in the water.
“We ran to the boat dock and saw the cat across the way, struggling,” Schurg said. “It could not get to shore. I could see that the fur was freezing and he was getting weighed down.”
Schurg said his adrenalin kicked in and he jumped into the icy water to try and save the cat.
“Once I got my bearings, I got a good stride going and I was cutting through the ice pretty quick,” he said. “After I got to the cat, I didn’t notice how cold the water was.”
The dramatic scene was caught on video by Schurg’s sister-in-law, though the dangerous rescue was a move both Schurg and officials advise against doing.
Schurg, who credited years of wrestling with helping him in the frigid water, estimated he swam about 40 yards before he rescued the cat, which appeared to be thankful for his help.
“He was not fighting or scratching,” Schurg said.
Once on shore, Schurg learned he had suffered several cuts to his body from the sharp ice in the water.
“As soon as I got out, my hands and feet were numb,” he said. “My hands were all cut up, body all cut up. I went from being inside, really. I don’t want to say I was going to faint but I was really light-headed.”
As for the cat, Schurg said it appeared just fine.
“He got in the sun, dried off and walked away,” he said.