An Australian model has been hailed a hero after helping rescue a group of teens who fell through an ice-covered lake in New York's Central Park.

Ethan Turnbull, 24, was skateboarding with his friend, 23-year-old Bennett Jonas, when he saw the teens flailing in the icy water before 6pm Monday (Noon, Tuesday, NZT).

Dramatic video shows the seven teens desperately trying to escape the freezing water.

A television cameraman films in New York's Central Park after several teenagers were rescued when they fell through the ice into the off-limits pond. Photo / AP
A television cameraman films in New York's Central Park after several teenagers were rescued when they fell through the ice into the off-limits pond. Photo / AP

Jonas jumped into the lake, known as The Pond, and swam the boys to shore as Turnbull pulled them to safety.

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"The last two at the end, the kid at the end was unconscious," Turnbull, from Sydney, told NBC News.

"[Jonas] got him out, he was kind of out of breath, and [Jonas] threw him to me. I just kind of minded him until he came to."

Jonas, a male model from California, said he was swarmed by the terrified kids when he jumped into the frigid lake.

"The only thing you could see was the back zipper of his backpack," he recalled. "I grabbed his backpack not knowing if there was a body on it."

The good Samaritans reportedly helped pull four of the seven teenage boys from the frozen pond.

The boys were rushed to local hospitals where they were treated for minor hypothermia and released.

Fire Department of New York Deputy Chief John Scof said the teens had been horsing around on the thin ice before it gave way.

An ice rescue ladder station sits beside an area in New York's Central Park after several teenagers were rescued when they fell through the ice into the off-limits pond. Photo / AP
An ice rescue ladder station sits beside an area in New York's Central Park after several teenagers were rescued when they fell through the ice into the off-limits pond. Photo / AP

"They were just being kids," he explained during a press conference, according to The New York Post.

"I think after tonight we can reinforce to the people that playing on ice is not a good idea. [The teens] are all okay. They are suffering from some mild hypothermia."

He said most of the pond was covered by a solid seven-centimetre layer of ice, but "not thick enough to hold them up".

One of the boys who fell through the ice, 13-year-old Kevin McQueen, said he and his friends were about to take a selfie when the ice cracked.

"We started to throw stuff on the ice to see if it would break, and it wouldn't break, so then we went on the ice," he told CBS New York.

But his joy turned to horror when he and his friends plunged into the chilly water.

"Like, my chest was closing up, like, I couldn't breathe," he said. "We were all sinking down, and we were holding on to each other."

Ice floats on the pond in New York's Central Park after several teenagers were rescued. Photo / AP
Ice floats on the pond in New York's Central Park after several teenagers were rescued. Photo / AP

Kevin's sister, Noemi Rosario, thanked the rescuers for their courage.

"I want to thank that gentleman for saving my little brother and saving the other kids," she said.

Following the heroic rescue, Turnbull wrote on Instagram: "'Right place right time' - Fortunate enough to have been in the position to help multiple younger generation New Yorkers today.

"With out the help of my Buddy @bennett-jonas the outcome of this event would have been much different. Thanks to all the friends and family that have checked in."