Nathan Michael Stieg and Jayden Charles Concha helped to rescue Edward W. Shypkoski and attempted to help rescue Frederick J. Ewoniuk from drowning in Mandaree, N.D. on Feb. 20, 2016.
Shypkoski, 58, was riding on his all-terrain vehicle with Ewoniuk, 60, on ice on Lake Sakakawea when the ice broke beneath them, sending them into the frigid water. Unable to lift themselves onto the ice, Shypkoski and Ewoniuk both screamed for help.
Across the lake, an ice fisherman, Stieg, 30, electrician of Dickinson, N.D., and his nephew Jayden, 14, student, also of Dickinson, heard the screams.
Stieg, with Jayden, rode their all-terrain vehicle to a point about 30 feet from the hole created by the fall. He removed fishing equipment from the vehicle and moved the vehicle to a point about 10 feet from the hole. Jayden retrieved cable from a winch at the front of the vehicle and gave it to Stieg, who took the cable to a point about 6 feet from the hole, threw it toward Ewoniuk, but was unable to reach him.
Stieg then broke through ice, fully submerged and resurfaced. Seconds later, Jayden and the vehicle also broke through. Stieg aided Jayden out of the water and then got himself out.
He directed Jayden to stay back on safer ice. Stieg returned to his equipment and secured a 5-foot piece of rope. He walked back to the hole, reaching the north end, and got down on his stomach and extended the rope toward Shypkoski. By then, Ewoniuk had submerged.
Shypkoski moved along the ice until he could grasp the rope. Once he reached it, Stieg, holding the other end, pulled him partially out, then started to back away from the hole. Shypkoski rolled his upper body onto the ice and climbed the rest of the way out. He stood up, and Stieg aided him in walking to Jayden, who assisted Shypkoski to the bank.
Stieg walked separately to the bank and they met at his truck. Stieg and Jayden drove with Shypkoski to a nearby home, where they called 911.
Shypkoski was hospitalized two days for treatment of his injuries, and he recovered. Ewoniuk’s body was recovered about six hours later. He had drowned. Stieg was cold and nearly exhausted. Jayden suffered bruising and a sprain to his right wrist. He later went to his doctor for treatment. He recovered.