Teen clinging to ice chunk rescued from Lake Michigan

RACINE -- A 15-year-old boy is in stable condition after falling into the icy waters of Lake Michigan Wednesday night, Feb. 20. First responders in Racine say when they arrived, the teen was clinging to a floating piece of ice.

Officials say the 15-year-old lost his footing on the North Pier along Lake Michigan in Racine, and went in around 6:15 p.m.

Jeff Perkins

"They considered putting a boat in the water but with the ice in the area there was too much ice to get to the person," said Division Chief Jeff Perkins, Racine Fire Department.

The Racine County Dive Team (RCDT), Racine County Sheriff’s Office, Racine Police Department, Racine Fire Department and other agencies all responded within 15 minutes of first notice.

"They went got ahold of him and with the combined effort of all the people who were on the pier they were able to pull all the people who were in the water back out onto the pier," said Chief Perkins.

The next morning, Thursday, Feb. 21 the sun was out and the water choppy. People walking along the shore warned others of its dangers.

"I would suggest to just take your time and be fully present," said Carolina Padilla Behnumea, frequent beach visitor.

While it may be nice to walk along the pier, maybe wait until the ice is gone before going back.

"Spend time outside just really be cautious of how we are doing things," said Padilla Behnumea.

Even though everything went wrong for the teen to fall in the water, it's worth noting that his friend did everything right. They called for help and stayed with the victim until help arrived.

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