13-year-old boy falls through ice at Lake Baron
A 13-year-old boy fell through the ice while riding his bicycle on Lake Baron at Tahoe Paradise Park on Wednesday, Dec. 28, but was saved by the quick actions of a bystander.
The front tire of the young boy’s bike fell through the thinning ice before he and his bike plunged completely into the water. He shouted for help, while bystanders watched from the shore and called 911.
Ian Whitmarsh, a visitor from Oakland, crawled out onto the ice to help save the boy.
Lake Valley Fire Protection District and El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department personnel responded quickly, and the boy was transported to Barton Memorial Hospital with severe hypothermia.
Lake Valley Fire Marshal Brad Zlendick said this is a reminder that there is no safe ice in the Tahoe Basin.
“We are very fortunate today; this situation could have easily been tragic,” stated Zlendick in a release.
With warming temperatures, the ice is a dangerous place for activities, reiterated Deputy Sheriff Greg Almos.
It takes only minutes for hypothermia to take over in those conditions, resulting in disorientation and often drowning.
Lake Valley Fire and El Dorado County Search and Rescue carry surface water and ice rescue equipment, but the closest dive team is located in Placerville.