Two Men Rescued After Falling Through Icy Lake in Warren County

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WARREN COUNTY, Iowa -- Two men are recovering after a close call on a frozen lake in Warren County.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says rescue crews responded to Summerset State Park around 3:15 p.m. Friday after someone saw two people fall through the ice.

Authorities say Ryan Nesselroad, of Carlisle, broke through the ice about 40 yards from the shore. A second man, Gary Anderson, of Venice, Florida, had also fallen through while attempting to rescue Nesselroad. Crews were able to get both out of the water and take them to a local hospital. Nesselroad had to be treated for hypothermia.

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office and Indianola Fire and Rescue all responded to the incident.

The DNR says people should avoid going onto frozen lakes and ponds because of the unseasonably warm temperatures.

The DNR offered these tips to stay safe on ice:

  • There is no such thing as 100% safe ice.
  • New ice is usually stronger than old ice.
  • Ice fishing is a social activity, don’t go out alone. If the worst should happen, someone would be there to call for help or to rescue.
  • There could be pockets of thin ice or places where ice recently formed, so check ice thickness as you go out.
  • Avoid off-colored snow or ice. It is usually a sign of weakness.
  • The insulating effect of snow slows down the freezing process.
  • Safety items in the bucket: Ice picks, about 50 feet of rope and a throwable flotation seat cushion for use in case of rescue.


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