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Two contractors were going about a day’s work putting a roof on a house when they suddenly heard a cry for help and sprung into action, saving the life of a 96-year-old World War II veteran. 

Robert Brendel and David Teal were putting shingles on a home in near Misty Waters Marina in Burleigh County, North Dakota, last Friday when they ran out of supplies. The pair turned off the radio in order to make a phone call for more supplies when they heard something they weren’t expecting – a cry for help. 

“All of a sudden I heard somebody screaming for help and I told Robert: ‘listen’ and heard it again. So, that’s when we jumped into action and took off,” said Teal.

Teal and his coworker Brendel raced to the shore of the nearby marina and noticed a man struggling in the frigid water. Brendel then immediately jumped into the ice and began working on getting the man onto shore while Teal called for help. 

“It was just adrenaline kicked in and just trying to get him out of (the river), you know. Fast and out before, you know, more ice broke or anything like that; Get him in, get him warmed up and just call the ambulance,” Brendel said. 

The two contractors then pulled the man from the water, and warmed him up as best they could until first responders could arrive. 

“A lot of people talk about doing stuff like that but these guys actually do it…It’s pretty cool,” said the owner of the roofing company, Scott Olson.

It is unclear how much time the unnamed 96-year-old veteran was stuck in the icy marina, but officials say that he is already doing much better and should make a full recovery. Although the veteran would not go on camera, he did say that his goal is to live to 100-years-old, so he wasn’t ready to go just yet. 


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