Pond rescue prompts ice safety tips from Naperville responders
Naperville police and fire officials who pulled a boy from a partially frozen pond Sunday are reminding residents about the dangers of water in the winter.
No matter the appearance of a pond, lake or stream, the safety of ice can't be determined from looks alone, Deputy Fire Chief Andy Dina said. It's impossible to tell the thickness of ice from a glance or whether a surface is frozen or just lightly covered with snow.
The fire department advises residents to skate on rinks provided by the Naperville Park District, but unseasonally warm temperatures have kept those rinks from opening.
"If it's not cold enough for those to freeze," Dina said, "it's certainly not cold enough for the retention ponds to freeze -- especially not enough to hold a person."
The rescue that prompted the warnings came at 4:57 p.m. Sunday, eight minutes after firefighters received a 911 call saying a child had fallen through the ice at the Chantecleer Lakes apartment and condo complex at McDowell Road and Raymond Drive.
Police and firefighters arrived four minutes later and found an 11-year-old boy in the water, who told them his feet were stuck in the muddy bottom of the pond. A police sergeant threw the boy a rescue disc, and while crews worked to reel him in, a fire department diver swam out to help him return to shore.
"It was pretty much a textbook ice rescue," Dina said. "It went as planned."
The rescue was complete four minutes after responders arrived, but Dina said authorities do not know how long the boy had been in the pond before someone called 911.
Dina was unsure if Chantecleer Lakes had posted signs warning about thin ice or other pond hazards.
Chantecleer Lakes management did not immediately return requests for comment.