Four teens walking on the icy lake at Paulus Park in Lake Zurich were threatened by breaking ice, this afternoon.
Lake Zurich Fire/Rescue received a call, at 2:36 p.m., that there were two people who fell into Lake Zurich, off the beach adjacent to Paulus Park, according to a news release from Lake Zurich Fire Rescue.
When rescue workers arrived, two teens, a girl and boy, were on an ice shelf, laying flat, said Lake Zurich Fire Chief David Wheelock.
“At that point, they were laying flat and the ice was breaking all around them,” Wheelock said. They were told to remain lying flat.
Fire department personnel, in cold-water rescue suits and personal flotation devices (PFD) proceeded to the victims. They placed a PFD on each and assisted them to the shore for evaluation by EMS personnel. The victims were back on shore at 3:01 p.m. and 3:04 p.m.
The teens were transported to Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington. Wheelock said they had some symptoms of hypothermia.
Wheelock said the water in the area where the teens fell in was about 6 to 8 feet deep.
“Once you are in and the ice starts breaking all around you, you can panick,” Wheelock said.
There were also two younger teens on the ice, a boy and girl. Apparently, they had also fallen in, but got out and were walking on a shelf of ice to the opposite shore. Lake Zurich Police Department officers met the teens and escorted them back to shore, where they were evaluated by EMS (Emergency Medical Services) personnel. They were released to their parents.
Before rescue personnel arrived, a Lake Zurich Public Works employee tried to rescue the teens, but couldn’t reach them.
Lake Zurich Fire/Rescue warns: “Ice, especially at this time of year, is very dangerous and not likely strong enough to support much if any weight. No one should test the ice once warmer temperatures have been present and open areas of water are evident. This could have been a very tragic incident, as the cold-water temperature will quickly overcome people.”
The Long Grove, Arlington Heights and Palatine Rural Fire Departments assisted Lake Zurich.