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12-year-old boy falls through ice on outdoor pool in Magna

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Posted at 6:46 PM, Jan 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-20 23:58:29-05

MAGNA, Utah -- A 12-year-old boy was rescued from icy waters Tuesday evening after falling into the outdoor swimming pool at the Magna Recreation Center.

The boy was airlifted to Primary Children's Hospital and is listed in critical condition.

The boy and his 11-year-old friend were playing in the parking lot of the recreation center around 5 p.m. when the 12-year-old decided he needed to go to the restroom and decided to climb over the six-foot chain-link fence into the pool area.

A few minutes later he was in the pool. Rescuers believe he was in the water for at least 20 minutes before they were able to get him out.

"It's obviously cold, there is ice in that water, the temperatures are very cold for this young man and definitely a dangerous situation," said Lt. Justin Hoyal, spokesman for Unified police.

According to Unified police, the area where the boy fell was about knee deep. He could be seen floating on top of the water with ice broken around him.

The victim's friend heard the fall.

"Heard a loud noise and then heard the young man screaming, he went, jumped the fence, went in and tried to help his friend but was unable to get him out of the water -- he then left, ran home and got his dad for help and then they contacted us," Hoyal said.

Unified firefighters didn't waste time putting on the proper equipment.

They immediately went into the freezing water to retrieve the boy.

CPR was performed for about 30 minutes.

"They were able to access that they'd be able to retrieve this boy without getting into the water too deeply and were able to make the assessment that the risk they would face would be worth getting this boy out of the water," said Brian Anderton, Battalion Chief for Unified Fire Authority.

Police are still investigating how exactly the boy ended up in the pool.

Officials with the recreation center say larger public pools like this one typically are not covered during the winter.

They also said the pool is not drained entirely because there is a chance the cement will freeze and crack, causing damage to the pool.