Two teenagers were rescued from an ice shelf on Lake Zurich Wednesday afternoon after falling into the cold water with two other children, according to officials.
Lake Zurich Fire Chief David Wheelock said crews received a call to the beach adjacent to Paulus Park at 2:36 p.m. reporting that two people were in the water.
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A Lake Zurich public works employee tried to reach the stranded teenage boy and girl before crews arrived, but he had to come back to the shore because the water was too cold, Wheelock said.
The teenagers had reportedly been walking together on the ice with a 9-year-old boy and 7-year-old girl when they all fell into the water, Wheelock said.
The department would not identify the four individuals, but said they are all Lake Zurich residents.
Wheelock said all four kids were able to get up on an ice shelf, but because of their weight, the younger two children were able to regain their footing on the ice and start walking toward the shore.
When crews arrived at the scene, Lake Zurich police met with the younger children and escorted them back to Paulus Park to be evaluated by the emergency medical services personnel. Both were released to a parent.
The teens were found approximately 100 yards from the shore on a shelf of ice next to open water. Fire department personnel in cold-water rescue suits entered the water and rescued the victims with personal flotation devices. One victim was back on shore at 3:01 p.m. and the other by 3:04 p.m.
Wheelock said both were in stable condition and conscious during the rescue, but they showed some signs of hypothermia. They were transported to Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital near Lake Barrington.
Wheelock said icy lakes and ponds in the area are past the point of being safe to walk on this year.
"The ice can be deceiving," he said. "It may look like it's solid, but it's much weaker, much thinner than in the middle of winter. It's always dangerous when there's open water."
The Long Grove, Arlington Heights and Palatine Rural Fire Departments assisted Lake Zurich in the rescue.