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Child Survives Fall into Freezing Clear Lake

Posted at: 12/28/2012 10:17 PM
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) -- A young boy is okay after falling into icy water. His friend helped to save him. The 11 year-old boy was out on Clear Lake with his 10 year-old friend when the accident happened. Witnesses say the two were walking near open water created by one of the lakes aerators. As they got closer, the ice gave way underneath and the boy went in.

"I think we're very fortunate," said Clear Lake Police Chief Greg Peterson. Fortunate that two young boys were able to walk away from what could have been a horrible tragedy. They were walking out on Clear Lake Friday, when one fell through the ice. "The 11 year-old boy fell through the ice and fortunately for him, his level-headed companion got on his belly and reached out and grabbed his hands and helped pull him out," said Chief Peterson.

They were seen walking near City Beach. The one boy was drenched and ice cold. "The boys were already off the ice and the boy that had fallen through was being tended to by some local people who had seen him go in," said Chief Peterson.

Multiple agencies came quickly to help, and the boy ended up ok. However, it's a good reminder for others who plan to go out onto the frozen water.

"It may not be 12 inches thick throughout the lake. It may vary and that’s what you get early on," said Iowa Conservation Official Ben Bergman. Especially because Clear Lake has an aeration system and there are patches of open water. "We do put hazard signs around the aeration system at a great length," said Bergman.

Though, if you are going out on the lake..."Have safety gear, ice picks, a life jacket, a rope, let people know where you're at, and let people know when you’re coming back, but the only absolute on ice is to stay off of it," said Bergman.

These boys had none of that, but thankfully they made it out alive. Now, their biggest worry..."Both boys were more concerned about what their parents would say when they found out rather than they were about the incident,"  said Chief Peterson.

The DNR warns not to be fooled by the all of the snow on area lakes. The ice underneath hasn't had much time to form this season, and could still be too thin.