"No ice is safe ice:" Sheriff's officials rescue five stranded on Lake Winnebago in Fond du Lac Co.

FOND DU LAC COUNTY (WITI) -- Fond du Lac County Sheriff's officials say five people had to be rescued after they became stranded on ice on Lake Winnebago on Sunday, December 7th.

Around 11:30 a.m., the Fond du Lac County Communications Center received a call for help from five ice fishermen who were stranded on Lake Winnebago approximately one-half mile out from the Village of Pipe. The subjects, who ranged in age from 16 to 20 advised they became stranded when the wind switched and opened up a crack in the ice they were unable to cross.

The Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office's Dive Team was dispatched to the scene. Using the Sheriff's Office's Amphibious Rescue Craft, all five individuals were safely rescued, along with their personal fishing gear.

Sheriff's officials say the crack in the ice that had stranded the individuals had opened to approximately 50 yards wide, and the ice around it had also become unstable.

The Sheriff's Office says:

"This crack and the unsafe ice associated with it travels from an area of approximately Fisherman’s Road in Fond du Lac County and continues north into Calumet County approximately one-quarter to one-half mile off shore.  This area of ice is unstable and dangerous.  There is also another similar area which runs due west from the Fisherman’s Road area across Lake Winnebago.  This area appears to be approximately 100 yards wide in areas.  This area of ice is unstable and dangerous.

These areas are not freezing and with the warm weather and wind, will continue to remain open and move.  What may appear as solid, stable ice can and will open up depending on the wind directions.

The Sheriff’s Office always advises that no ice is safe ice, and with the conditions that exist as they do now on Lake Winnebago, the ice is extremely dangerous as the conditions can change by the minute."