EAGAN, Minn. (WCCO) — It’s been a deadly few days on Minnesota’s lakes and rivers, with at least six drowning over the weekend. Now a Twin Cities father is telling his survival story.

“When I went down, I felt it was over, because I knew nobody was around,” said Muhammad Javed. “Very painful. I don’t know how I’m living.”

He’s now recovering at Regions Hospital after nearly drowning last Sunday in Fish Lake in Eagan. He never realized a day fishing with his family could be filled with so much excitement, and for all the wrong reasons.

Javed recalled the frantic moments after his youngest son, Ozzie, jumped in the water for a turtle. The 2-year-old could swim, but his father was still afraid he would drown.

“I went in after him. I jumped in the water,” said Javed, who cannot swim. “I was only splashing, trying to pull the water down with only one hand. I tried to look for the foundation of the dock to pull down on something. Nothing was close.”

Javed’s other son recalled seeing his father’s hand go under water, and then only bubbles. His daughter got scared and ran for help.  She found Mark Halberg, who was walking his dog with a friend.

“I was just there at the right time,” said Halberg, who heard the girl scream and ran to the dock.

When he got there, he first found Ozzie.

“He looked in shock, just bobbing. I didn’t think twice. I just grabbed him and got him out of there,” said Halberg. He couldn’t find the boy’s father, who was caught in the weeds below.

“I just jumped in, must have hit his shoulder with my foot, and I went down there, pulled him up,” he said.

A woman in a row boat paddled to the scene, pulled Javed into the boat and brought him to the dock.

“I knew we were in that window. We’ve got to react and do something right now,” said Officer Matt Ondrey with the Eagan Police Department, who showed up, along with Officer Tony Lejcher.

They started CPR on Javed, who was unconscious. Algae and water were preventing him from breathing properly.

“As we were able to get that water and algae out of his nose and mouth, his body takes care of itself,” said Officer Lejcher.

Paramedics rushed Javed to the hospital. While recovering in the hospital bed, he’s recalling his multiple heroes.

“I don’t know. It was a miracle actually,” said Muhammad.

He knows no catch during a day of fishing could ever top this survival story. He said he’ll wear a lifejacket every time he’s near the water now, and he’ll insist his kids do too.

Comments (6)
  1. Iconoclast says:

    For the love of (Insert fictional deity here) If you don’t know how to swim stay away from the water. Do not go in boats, do not go floating on any air filled device, do not walk on docks, maybe don’t even get in the tub and don’t do these things especially if you insist on drinking. This guy got lucky but, far to many people have died for no reason in the lakes this year. It’s pure stupidity.

    1. watchyourself says:

      for the love of GOD, could you be any more ignorant. this man is in no way stupid, he was being a good father and taking his kids fishing…he almost sacrificed his life for his son and you are calling him stupid? you should feel ashamed of yourself.

    2. you suck says:

      you suck.

    3. ejaved says:

      Diary of a Nymphomaniac

  2. Woodsman says:

    Mark Halberg = Hero

  3. flipper says:

    hellow, swim lessons for the whole family!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.