ST. GEORGE, Utah — A Washington County Sheriff’s deputy punched through the ice and dove into a frozen pond to rescue a drowning 8-year-old boy on Christmas Day.

A day later, saying his thoughts were still with the hospitalized boy and his family, Sgt. Aaron Thompson played down any heroism on his part, saying he had dived into the icy water knowing there was no other way the boy might survive.

“I knew what I was getting into,” the veteran deputy and former search and rescue dive team member said. “I knew how cold that water was going to be.”

The boy was chasing his dog Monday evening in the small community of New Harmony, about 30 miles north of St. George, when another child saw him fall through the ice. Unable to help, the other child ran inside to tell family members, who then reported the incident shortly…