LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – It wasa search that could've ended in tragedy.
The Shelby Fire Department andOfficers from the La Crosse County Sheriff's Department scoured a body of waterat Goose Island ParkWednesday morning after receiving a call about an empty vehicle found nearby.
Near the vehicle was a hole in thewater's ice, where avid ice fisherman William Taylor had fallen through.
"We received a call about a manin water," said Shelby Fire Chief Mike Kemp. "There was nothing but an emptyvehicle nearby. We searched and found footprints leading to the hole andpossibly away from the hole."
Kemp said the search continued for 20minutes.
No one knew what had happened to theman who fell in.
"It was only three feet of water,"Taylor said. "SoI got up out of the hole, walked back to shore and my buddy picked me up."
"Then we came back one hour laterand there were all these police," he said.
Taylor said, while he didn't need savingWednesday, he is grateful for the effort of police and fire officials all the same.
Kemp added Taylor's fall can serve as a reminder to thecommunity about the danger of thin ice.
"The ice at that spot was only oneinch think," Kemp said. "There was a small covering of snow on top, which actuallysoftens the ice up."
"The temperature's going to bring itup also, so almost all the ice is going to be very dangerous right now," he said.
SHELBY, Wisconsin (WXOW) – The Shelby Fire Chief says a water search at Goose Island Park ended in the best possible outcome.
Chief Mike Kemp says crews were called to the scene of a campground body of water after reports of a hole in the ice and an empty pickup truck nearby.
A 28-year old man had fallen through the ice.
Kemp's crew, along with officers from the La Crosse County Sheriff's office, searched the water for 20 minutes – until La Crosse Police discovered that the man was safe at home.
He says he'd had a friend come pick him up, and the pair returned to the spot approximately one hour later to retrieve his vehicle.
The man is an avid ice fisherman, and today was to be his first fishing of the winter season.
Kemp says the area where the man fell in was only about one inch thick and was softened by a thin layer of snow on top.
Kemp says the man's fall should serve as a reminder to all about the dangers of thin ice.
A man died Tuesday evening in Augusta in Eau Claire County when he fell through thin ice on a private pond.
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