Wauconda divers recover body from Wisconsin's Lake Como

Updated 12/9/2016 10:34 PM

Two ice divers from the Wauconda Fire District recovered the body of a man who had fallen through the ice into Lake Como near Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, authorities said Friday.

The divers were among several called from fire departments in Lake and McHenry counties to assist with rescue efforts of a man who fell through thin ice about 2:40 p.m., Wauconda Battalion Chief Kevin Pyne said.


When the Wauconda crew, which included three ice divers and two technicians certified in using the side scan sonar device housed at the department, left for the 45-minute drive to Wisconsin, Pyne said the effort was classified as a rescue.

But thin, patchy ice on the lake just northwest of Lake Geneva caused difficulties in locating the area where the man last was seen, Pyne said. By the time sonar operators found him and divers got to his body, Pyne said the man was dead.

Pyne said the man was reported to be in his 50s and was walking across the lake when he fell through the early-winter ice and went under.

Fire departments in the area of Lake Como called for regionwide assistance, sending divers from suburbs including Lake Zurich, Fox Lake, McHenry, Gurnee, Cary and Buffalo Grove to the scene, Pyne said. Several of Wauconda's firefighters specially trained in ice diving and side scan sonar use happened to be on duty, speeding their response. But they weren't in time.

"It's touch because you always want that positive outcome. Your goal is u do everything you can to get it within that time frame to be able to try to resuscitate the victim," Pyne said. "They train to make the rescues and if it doesn't happen that way, it's not the outcome they want and it's disappointing. But still the recovery needs to be made so the family can have closure."

Pyne did not know the identity of the man his department helped recover. Calls to the Elkhorn Fire Department and Town of Geneva police in the Lake Como area were not immediately returned.

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