TOMAHAWK, WI (WSAU) - Three ATV riders had an icy cold reminder that you cannot trust the ice on the lakes. Tomahawk Fire Department rescue crews were called to Lake Alice Saturday afternoon when two ATV’s carrying three people broke through, and the riders were in the water. They were spotted by a seasonal resident, who called 9-1-1.
The riders had climbed up onto the ice and started to walk towards shore, and broke through again. They were over 300 feet from shore and out of reach for rescuers. A Tomahawk firefighter with a cold water suit tried to get to them, but he also kept breaking through the ice.
Firefighters ended up using two boats and slowly breaking through the ice to reach the victims. All three are from the De Pere area, but their names were not released. the 64-year-old male was taken to Ministry Sacred Heart Hospital, and then flown to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield for treatment. He was released Sunday. The 42-year-old man and his 13-year-old daughter were checked over by EMS staff and went back to their cabin.
The riders had checked and found 20 inches of ice in front of their cabin before leaving, but the thickness of the ice changes depending on water temperatures and the current underneath the ice. The riders did take a precaution that probably saved their lives. They all put on personal floatation devices before leaving on their ATV’s.