One woman is dead and a couple of men are injured following three ice related incidents on Wisconsin waterways this past weekend.
The first happened on Beaver Dam Lake in the Town of Trenton when a man drove his ATV into open water. Local law enforcement and a citizen helped to save him. Sunday a 24 year old woman from Lake Mills was killed when she drove her snowmobile into open water on the Crawfish River near Columbus. A third incident on Lake Winnebago shows how rescuers need to be careful when responding to these types of accidents.
It was all hands on deck yesterday when a snowmobiler on Lake Winnebago hit what was believed to be an ice shove and was thrown from his sled. When the man didn't make it to his destination a search for him began. The Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office took part in that rescue. Deputies brought the Sheriff's Amphibious Rescue Craft or SARC.
"They called and requested that," says Sgt. Jeff Bonack from the Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office. "Obviously they need a vehicle to get their rescue personnel out to the scene, that's why we were involved."
While the SARC can safely travel on the icy conditions rescuers faced on Lake Winnebago yesterday, it also would have been safe if the boat had broken through the ice. That sort of equipment is essential for incidents like the one yesterday to keep everyone safe.
Sgt. Bonack says, "You don't want to send our personnel if they're not equipped to deal with the situation. You don't want to send people out there that aren't equipped that are going to potentially become a victim."
With the help of local firefighters who know the lake and its ice conditions very well, the victim was rescued without anyone else getting hurt.