Local

Canadian man searches for Brookline rescuer from nearly 50 years ago

“It’s been a question all my life. Who was the guy who jumped into the water?”

The incident, which occurred 50 years ago, happened at Hall's pond in Amory Park, Brookline. Lane Turner / Boston Globe, File

A former Brookline resident now residing in Toronto, Canada, is looking for the man who saved him from a fall into an icy pond Dec. 30, 1974. Damon Schreiber took to a Brookline Reddit forum to post about his encounter in an effort to reach his rescuer.

On the day of the rescue, then 8-year-old Schreiber and his friend were exploring the back side of Hall’s Pond in Brookline’s Amory Park when they encountered thin ice on the pond. When another group of children began throwing rocks at them, they began crossing on thin ice without thinking, Schreiber recalled.

His friend unexpectedly fell through the ice into the water and, in a panic, Schreiber crouched down instead of lying flat on the ice to give her a hand.

Advertisement:

“I tried to pull her out and then I fell through right away too. When you fall through the ice, it’s a panicky kind of situation. Suddenly you’re underwater and you’re freezing,” Schreiber said.

Both struggled to get out of the water, although his friend managed to swim to the side where she was calling for help. Schreiber, on the other hand, was not a great swimmer and struggled to stay afloat, he said. 

Within moments, a man he believes was in his 20s jumped into the pond, swam to Schreiber and grabbed him out of the water. The two children were later taken by Brookline police to Boston Children’s Hospital, according to records that Schreiber obtained. But he never saw the man again. 

Advertisement:

“It’s been a question all my life,” Schreiber told Boston.com. “Who was the guy who jumped into the water? I never knew and I always wondered, and [it] was sort of an idle thought for many years.”

Schreiber lived in Brookline from a young age up until the end of high school. A few years ago, when he began reaching out to old friends, he also began thinking about trying to find the man who had rescued him. A big inspiration was “Heavyweight,” a podcast that brings on guests to try to resolve moments from their past. 

Advertisement:

Schreiber was successful in finding his friend that he had been with that day, but could not find any records of the man. He obtained medical records from Boston Children’s Hospital and reached out to the Brookline Police Department, but they had no records dating that far back. 

Now, at 55 years old, he has turned to social media and online platforms to spread his story in hopes of finding him.

“I’ve had a lot of gratitude over the years that I’ve held on to and I’d like to share some of that with him,” Schreiber said. “I always felt like … that was a case where a guardian angel appeared out of nowhere. And I don’t think he’s really an angel. I think he’s really a person who acted very heroically at the moment, and I’d like to tell him how grateful I am.”

Advertisement:

Schreiber says that anyone who might have information about that day can contact him via his Twitter account, @damonschreiber.

Jump To Comments

Conversation

This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com