9-year-old saves friend from icy Magician Lake

Published 2:12 am Monday, January 12, 2004

By Staff
DOWAGIAC -- A fun afternoon of sledding turned into a life-changing event for two area third grade friends.
After falling through the ice while trying to retrieve a toboggan, Spencer Kinzie immediately went into shock and couldn't speak or move.
His friend, Andrew Cobe Jr. of Benton Harbor, acted quickly to rescue Spencer and pulled him out of the icy waters.
On Wednesday afternoon, sledding down the icy hill faster than expected, "A.J." jumped from the toboggan just before it slid out onto the ice of Magician Lake.
Walking down the pier, Spencer thought he could retrieve the sled, but couldn't reach it.
Spencer, who will be 9 in May, thought the ice was thick enough for him to walk on and went after the toboggan.
He broke through the ice and ended up chest-deep in frigid water.
Andrew said, "I was so scared, I didn't want to lose my friend. At first I couldn't get him up, but I just kept pulling on his coat and trying until I did."
Andrew knew a Guardian Angel was with him when he had the strength to lift more than his body weight 1 1/2 feet up onto the pier.
Andrew worked so quickly to get Spencer home, he did not suffer any frost bite and recovered from the shock quickly.
When asked why he went on the ice, Spencer admits, "It was a bad mistake to go after the toboggan, but I did because it didn't belong to me and I needed to return it."
The boys attend Grace Christian School in Watervliet, where Andrew is now a class hero.
Andrew's mother, Tamara, said, "I'm so proud Andrew reacted so quickly and was able to help Spencer. I know he will never forget that day."
Both families were amazed by the incident and thank God for preserving Spencer's life, according to his mother, Jeanine Kinzie.