NIACC soccer players describe pond rescue: 'Before you knew it everyone just sprung into action'

NIACC soccer players credited with saving a man’s life chronicled the tense moments and quick action of Tuesday’s pond rescue.

Posted: Aug 14, 2019 3:22 PM

MASON CITY, Iowa - NIACC soccer players credited with saving a man’s life chronicled the tense moments and quick action of Tuesday’s pond rescue.

The day for the soccer team was supposed to revolve around a scrimmage at Waldorf University.

But things quickly turned serious prior to boarding the bus when a handful of players sprung into action to pull a man from the pond near the NIACC dorms.

“Out of the corner of my eye, I see a bobbing head in the lake,” NIACC player Liyton Wheeler said. “He was shouting for help. We’re the ones around here. We need to take action.

“I took all my clothes off and went in there, swam over to him and kept his head above water.”

When Wheeler did that, other NIACC students came to assist in the rescue.

“We saw a head pop up from the water. Instinctively, a few of the players just ran straight over worried about the situation. It didn’t look like there was anyone around there. When we got there, we realized the man was drowning,” NIACC’s Lolu Ojo said.

First responders said Tuesday that the man was unconscious when the call came into dispatch. The man was breathing on his own when he was taken to the hospital.

“We’re just so thankful and happy that he’s alive,” Wheeler said. “Just happy, real happy.”

Ojo said it was a team effort that ultimately saved the man’s life.

“You could see his face was actually turning people, and before you knew it everyone just sprung into action,” Ojo said.

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