FOX LAKE, Ill. (WLS) --The fluctuating temperatures this winter have made ice-covered lakes treacherous.
There have been two accidents involving people from the Chicago area on snowmobiles that went through the ice. One was deadly.
It can fly along the lake on top of the ice. And suddenly find itself on thin ice, and in the water. The Fox Lake fire rescue personnel use an airboat to get to victims who've fallen through the ice into the lake quickly. You have to wear special suits for protection to get a demonstration of how it works.
"Time is critical," said Chief Tom Preidis, Fox Lake Fire Dept.
That was the case Monday night when 34-year-old Kyle Smart rode his snowmobile onto thin ice and found himself in the water. The Fox Lake rescue crew managed to pull him out and get him to the hospital quickly. While the boat helps crews get to victims, it is not without some danger as well.
"You could get yourself into trouble," said Rich Hoehne, Fox Lake Fire Dept.
Over the weekend, rescue crews were called to Fontana, Wis., near Lake Geneva to help rescue two other snowmobilers who ran into thin ice. A 53-year-old man died in that incident.
With a dusting of fresh snow, ice all looks the same. Without drilling, there is virtually no way to know how thick the ice is.