TOWN OF WESTFORD | An early morning ATV ride resulted in an ice rescue and subsequent operating while intoxicated citation for its driver Saturday.

At 2:54 a.m. Saturday morning, a bartender from Springs Tavern reported that he had revived a call from a man who said he had fallen through Beaver Dam Lake.

Fox Lake Officer Mitch Wegner was first on scene and as he utilized his thermal imaging camera he was able to locate a male subject approximately 300 yards north of the Hickory Point Rd. landing.

Officer Wegner and Deputy Taylor Nehls discovered the male subject had driven his 4 wheel All Terrain Vehicle off of the ice and into open water. The ATV was submerged and the male subject was standing on the ATV attempting to keep his head above the water.

Beaver Dam Fire Department’s hovercraft was dispatched to the location, however law enforcement was able to get the man out prior to the craft’s arrival. A roped flotation device was used to pull the subject out of the water. A nearby neighbor also assisted with the rescue.

A 32-year-old Beaver Dam man was taken to the hospital as a precaution and later cited with OWI first. 

This is the first reported ice breakthrough in the county for the season, and ice on Beaver Dam Lake was reported to be between 5 to 7 inches thick as of Dec. 13. According to the Minnesota DNR website, people should stay off the ice if it is 2 inches or less in thickness, 5 inches is suitable for snowmobiles or ATVs and 8 to 12 inches is needed for a car or small pickup. More than 12 inches is needed for larger vehicles.

The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the City of Fox Lake Police Department, the Beaver Dam Fire Department and DNR.

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