Several ice rescues prompt officials to warn about safety - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Several ice rescues prompt officials to warn about safety

MADISON (WKOW) -- The warm weather we've seen in the past week is causing some trouble on area lakes.

Sunday morning an ATV broke through the ice on Lake Mendota and one person fell into the water. Rescuers brought both fishermen to shore. Neither were seriously hurt.

Fire officials say they stay busy with rescue calls in spring when the ice is most dangerous.

"We can go all winter with only a handful but this time of year, were gunna start seeing more," says Ty Kowalewski with the Madison Fire Department. "We've had two [Sunday] already and I would anticipate more for the next few days until the ice goes away."

This incident, and two other rescues Sunday, have prompted the Dane County Sheriff's Office to remind everyone about safety. They say ice conditions are deteriorating quickly.

Officials warn people to stay away from icy areas with a current on all bodies of water, including creeks and rivers.

They also ask anglers to have life jackets with them.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The Middleton Fire Department and City of Madison Lake Rescue Team rescued two ice fishermen after their ATV broke through the ice on Lake Mendota Sunday morning.

Fire officials say crews rescued one fisherman who fell through the ice into the water just before 8 a.m. The two were both brought to shore and evaluated for injuries, but were not hospitalized. The firefighters also pulled the ATV out of the ice.

Officials warn people to be extra cautious this time of year. With the recent warm weather, ice is very unpredictable. Fisherman and rescuers note there are multiple areas of soft ice on the lake.

Dane County officials say the department's Marine and Trail Enforcement team has already responded to three separate incidents Sunday where people who were ice fishing have broken through the ice. Fortunately, all of these individuals were safely removed without incident.

The Dane County Sheriff's Office wants to also remind anglers to stay away from icy areas where current or flowage may be present. Mouths of creeks, rivers, and natural springs all create small currents which resists ice accumulation, even under perfect conditions. With the warm weather, these areas are often the most dangerous and have the thinnest foundations of ice present, yet appear to be indistinguishable from those thicker areas of ice around it.

If you do decide to go out on one of the area lakes, the Dane County Sheriff's Office highly recommends having appropriate flotation and life saving devices present, such as ice picks and life preservers.

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