A cell phone helped to save the life of a teenager in Syracuse in the United States after he was swept into the Oswego Harbor on Monday night and left moments away from hypothermia. The 18-year-old, Aaron Matthews, was walking on the break-wall in the Oswego Harbor close to the lighthouse when he found himself being swept into the water.
Matthews frequently takes such strolls, and always makes sure that he protects his cell phone by placing it in a simple sandwich bag before putting it his pocket, an act that quite possibly saved his life. “On a nice day it’s beautiful,” Matthews notes. “It’s just very relaxing. You see all the colors and the sky change. I got splashed a few times, thought nothing of it. Kept going and got splashed right off the rock, right into the harbor.”
Matthews was able to swim back to the wall, but in water of 36 degrees, he was unable to feel his fingers and was quickly already beginning to shake and have difficulty breathing. While in shock, Matthews was able to keep his head and remembering the cell phone in his pocket, pull it out and call 911. “All I was doing was yelling and saying I need help, I’m 50 feet away from Oswego Harbor Lighthouse,” he recalls. “I need help right away. As fast as you can, I’m freezing.”
Within 10 minutes, rescue crews had tracked down Matthews, just moments away from losing his bodily functions.