HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — Two teens who called 911 after a 13-year-old boy fell into the icy waters of Lake Macatawa told 24 Hour News 8 that they believe they were in the right place at the right time to help save him.
The 13-year-old and his dog were rescued after falling into an icy Lake Macatawa on Monday. The boy was treated for hypothermia and released. The dog was fine and able to get out of the water on his own.
Around 4 p.m. Monday, the boy’s dog ran out onto the ice near Kollen Park and the boy gave chase. As they neared Dunton Park on the other side of the lake, the ice gave way and both fell into the water.
“We heard him whistling and calling for the dog and we didn’t know what was going on and we kept walking, and we saw a splash and we looked over and he went to go pick the dog up and he fell in,” witness Cady Delena said.
Cady Delena and her boyfriend Austin Masterson happened to be walking on the shores of Lake Macatawa that afternoon and called 911. Delena said she thinks the boy may not have made it if they hadn’t been there to call for help.
“He like thought he was going to die. He said that at one point,” Masterson said.
Emergency responders were called to the Dutton Park Boat Launch. A paramedic who was the first to arrive on the scene threw the boy a rescue line and pulled him onto the ice. A Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officer then crawled out onto the ice and pulled the 13-year-old closer to shore.
“When he was getting pulled out of the water, he kept asking is his dog OK,” Delena said.
Tuesday, an ice fisherman showed 24 Hour News 8 the ice on Lake Macatawa was eight inches thick on one side. On the other side — the side where the boy fell through — there was open water.
Ice fisherman on the lake said they know about the dangers the lake poses and take safety precautions.
“About every 10 feet, I’ll pop a hole and check the depth and see how thick the ice is just to be safe,” fisherman Matthew Pikaart said.
He said anyone ice fishing on the lake should have experience or go out with someone who does.
The DNR advises that adults should make sure ice is at least four inches thick before going out on it. It also warns that just because ice looks stable doesn’t mean it is and that it may not be uniformly thick across a body of water.