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updated: 1/25/2013 9:02 PM

Man on ATV falls through ice on Wauconda lake

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  • Emergency personnel respond to the scene of an ice rescue near Vernon Hills on Friday.

      Emergency personnel respond to the scene of an ice rescue near Vernon Hills on Friday.
    Courtesy of ABC 7 Chicago

  • Emergency personnel respond to the scene of an ice rescue near Vernon Hills on Friday.

      Emergency personnel respond to the scene of an ice rescue near Vernon Hills on Friday.
    Courtesy of ABC 7 Chicago

 
 

Firefighters rescued a man whose all-terrain vehicle crashed through the ice on Bangs Lake in Wauconda.

Wauconda Fire District officials said they were called to the lake at 10:18 p.m. Thursday and found the 30-year-old Wauconda-area resident clinging to one of the ATV tires about a half a mile from shore.

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Battalion Chief Bill Hoover said the ice had not completely frozen in that area of the lake where the water is about 20 feet deep.

The tire kept the man afloat at a time when the air temperature was 15 degrees, Hoover said.

"He's exceptionally lucky the other man that was riding with him didn't go in the water and was able to call for help," Hoover explained. "The victim was talking with rescuers, but I'm not sure how much longer he could have held on. The 9-1-1 call and the speed in which we were able to get out there made all the difference for him."

Two firefighters wore cold water immersion suits and two others used an inflatable raft to reach the man.

The victim was pulled from the water and placed in the rescue raft at 10:32 p.m., authorities said. He was taken to Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital near Lake Barrington and was expected to make a full recovery.

Officials added there were no injuries to rescuers or to the second ATV rider.

Fire crews also rescued a 66-year-old man who fell through the ice and was in water up to his waist in Vernon Hills on Friday.

The ice-fisherman was in the water for only about two minutes after he stepped off a pier on Big Bear Lake, on the 1000 block of Lakeview Parkway, about 10:30 a.m., Countryside Fire Protection Battalion Chief Ed Heinz said.

A civilian helped the man out of the water before fire rescuers arrived, Heinz said. The man was taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville with mild hypothermia.

Despite recent cold weather, officials said most lakes, rivers and ponds are not frozen enough to support weight and that people should stay off the ice.

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