Middletown High School North freshmen Kiernan Foley, 14, was one of five teens who helped pull out 8-year-old Olivia Heid and her 4-year-old brother R.J. from the chilly water after their sled crashed into a pond at Beacon Hill Country Club in the Atlantic Highlands.
Foley was joined by his four friends: Drew Scalice, Joseph Dietrich and Tyler Armagan, all 14, and 15-year-old Ryan Day.
Foley, who said he lost his right boot during the rescue, told children’s charity Kids Who Kare during a video interview Saturday that the boys were "just at the right place in the right time, I guess."
Foley and his friends were standing near the pond when they heard screaming.
"We heard this Dad yelling, 'Hop off, hop off!'" Foley told the Patch, which first reported the incident. "We turned around and see these kids coming down the hill. They were going backwards."
Stephanie Irlbeck and Rich Heid, the parents of the children rescued, had been watching from the top of a hill when the siblings’ sled hit a patch of ice and careened over a snowy ridge before landing in the partially frozen pond, the outlet reported.
Foley wasted no time and jumped into the water, which was only a few feet deep, and began pulling the children out. His friends quickly formed a human chain and they safely brought the kids back onto land.
"Kiernan, I give him all the credits, he jumped right in there without any hesitation," Day said in the video interview. "All of us were a great team, we all tagged along and saved those kids."
Sleds in the snow.
Irlbeck hailed the boys as heroes in a post on a Middletown, N.J., Facebook group.
"Not only did they stop a potentially catastrophic situation they didn’t even want anything in return," she said.
"They were trying to calm both of my kids down, you can imagine how scared the (sic) they were. Thank you. THANK YOU for having such AMAZING KIDS," she wrote in the hopes their parents would see the message.
The teens remained humble during the video interview.
"We hope anyone else would do the exact same thing that we did," Scalice said.