injured snowmobiler rescued by airboat

 
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published: 15 December 2013
by: The Northwestern

STOCKBRIDGE, Wisconsin, USA — Authorities searched for more than an hour to locate a lost and injured snowmobiler on Lake Winnebago on Sunday.

Lake Winnebago

Authorities searched for more than an hour to locate a lost and injured snowmobiler on Lake Winnebago Saturday. A command center was initially set up in Stockbridge, then Ecker Lakeland Drive and finally Driftwood Beach Road where the man came ashore.

The 33-year-old Fond du Lac man called 911 after striking an ice shove on the lake around 2:20 p.m. complaining of a possible broken arm and ribs. He could not get his snowmobile started after the crash.

Authorities launched a DNR plane from Oshkosh, airboats from Oshkosh, Fond du Lac and Neenah-Menasha, and had ice rescue and dive teams on shore. A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter was on the way to the lake, but was called off after the man was located.

Around 3:40 p.m., the man was spotted by both a sheriff’s deputy and the DNR plane. He was brought to shore about 4:20 p.m.

Heavy winds and snowy conditions made the search difficult. The lake also had open water north of the man’s location.

Rescuers started the search based on GPS coordinates from the man’s 911 call about 3.5 miles off shore. For a short time they were also concerned about another snowmobiler that was traveling with the injured man. He was located around 3 p.m.

A command center was initially set up in Stockbridge, then Ecker Lakeland Drive and finally Driftwood Beach Road where the man came ashore.

Calumet County Sheriff’s report several open water areas on the lake and called ice travel “very dangerous.”