By Bobby Koch
On Sunday, February 12, 2012 the Prairie du Sac (WI) Fire Department was dispatched along with the Sauk Prairie Ambulance Service and the Sauk Prairie Police Department at 3:11 in the afternoon to a reported kayaker who overturned in the Wisconsin River at about Winnie Avenue.
The patient in the water was screaming for help, according to the reporting party, who contacted Sauk County 911. The Prairie du Sac Firefighters launched "fireboat 3" at the VFW boat landing within five minutes of the 911 call. The victim swam to shore where the Sauk Prairie Ambulance crew was waiting, by Alice Graf Park. The firefighters encountered low water levels, ice shelves, and extreme cold responding in the boat. Firefighters recovered the drifted kayak. The victim was transported to Sauk Prairie Memorial Hospital. No patient status, level of injury, or name will be released by the Prairie du Sac Fire Department or Sauk Prairie Ambulance to protect medical confidentiality.
The Prairie du Sac Fire Department would like to remind people to play it safe on our waterways. Don't go near water or ice without a life jacket. Be aware of thin or broken ice, especially with the warmer winter we have been having. We especially do not encourage people to kayak in water without a cold water suit, this time of year. Hypothermia can set in quickly and can be lethal.
For more on hypothermia, consider IMMERSION HYPOTHERMIA AND WINTER WATER OPERATIONS, Drill of the Week: Cold Weather Emergencies, and Cold Weather EMS Operations. For more on water and ice rescue, visit http://www.fireengineering.com/tech-rescue/water-and-ice.html.