TOWN OF DELAFIELD - Four people were rescued from Pewaukee Lake on Saturday night, Feb. 11.
At about 11 p.m., the town fire department responded to a call reporting four people had fallen into the lake after their UTV, a four-passenger ATV, hit an ice heave about 100 yards off the north shore of the lake near Lakeside Road, according to Deputy Fire Chief Mark Hoppe.
The vehicle then cracked through the ice and took off a 50-foot circle of ice and pushed it straight down into the lake.
"Even though they could stand in the waist deep water, they couldn't climb up the slippery ice shelf that it made," Hoppe said. "They called for help themselves. They were able to get their cell phones and keep them dry."
Initially, dispatchers thought the group was near Rocky Point Road, Hoppe said, and sent the town of Delafield Fire Department, along with a hovercraft from the city of Pewaukee Fire Department. But eventually, authorities pinpointed the group's location at Lakeside Road, and deployed an inflatable raft to remove the four people. Two of them were taken to the hospital for evaluation, and the other two signed medical releases at the scene, Hoppe said.
"They were concerned, but I think they knew help was coming, and they were able to speak with 911," Hoppe said. "They were cold; they were definitely concerned that they couldn't get out of that water, ice sinkhole, but they weren't screaming or panicking in any way."
The Waukesha County Sheriff's Department and village of Pewaukee Police Department also responded. The state Department of Natural Resources was consulted over the phone about the ATV, Hoppe said, and the hovercraft the city of Pewaukee Fire Department provided was not needed due to the inflatable raft being used. The village of Hartland also responded with an ambulance.
Hoppe also noted there were people ice fishing and trucks on the ice that evening. Authorities checked those areas to make sure there were no other people in distress.