92-year-old Fremont man falls into well, treads water for 30 minutes while waiting for rescue

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A 92-year-old man in Fremont is recovering, after falling into the 26-foot deep well on his farm.

Ernest Silva has a bit of a sore back, not to mention some bumps and bruises.

But this didn't stop him from walking over, to thank the Fremont firefighters that rescued him.

He asked that we not show his face, but he wanted his message to be heard loud and clear.

He says, "100-percent it couldn't have been better. I'm serious. The men are just great."

Silva had been in the pump house on his property Saturday, when its 100-year-old floorboards gave way, sending him tumbling into the well below.

He says he pressed his feet and back against the walls, trying to keep his head above water.

He says, "Yeah somebody was watching over me. That's true. But I did alright."

His daughter called for help. 

Captain Michael Laughlin was one of the first on the scene. He says, "We looked down the hole, we saw him down there. I said, are you ok? He said yeah. I said you hurt? He said I'm not hurt at all. Just get me out of this hole. Drop me a rope and get me out of this hole!"

So they did. First they brought the fire truck in close and used it to rig a rope system.
A firefighter with a harness then went down into the well to pull Silva out.

Laughlin says, "This isn't a regular thing for us here in Fremont. We've got some older properties. But as far as people falling down wells, this was a first for a lot of us."

Silva was rushed to the hospital,  before he got to say a proper thank you to the firefighters.

He says, "I was here in a gurney and I was gone. I don't think I knew where I was for a minute."

But now he's feeling better and wants to make sure his rescuers know just how grateful he is.

Silva says, "I'm very thankful for them. Very much so. I'll always remember that." He adds, "Anything that happens, that's the guys to get."

And the firefighters aren't done helping out. Their union, Local 1689, plans to come out over the next week to replace the old pump house.