SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. December 28, 2016 – This afternoon a 13 year old boy was out on the ice with his bicycle on Lake Baron at Tahoe Paradise Park. While on the ice, the front tire of his bike fell through the thinning ice and he and his bike fell completely into the water. He immediately began shouting for help. Bystanders watched from shore and quickly called 9-1-1, while Ian Whitmarsh, a visitor from Oakland, CA crawled out on to the ice to help rescue to the young boy.

Lake Valley Fire Protection District’s Fire Marshal, Brad Zlendick, reminds residents and visitors alike that there is no safe ice in the Tahoe Basin. Zlendick says “We were very fortunate today; this situation could have easily been tragic.” Lake Valley Fire personnel responded quickly along with Deputy Sheriff’s Greg Almos and Damian Frisby, of the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department. The boy was transported to Barton Memorial Hospital with severe hypothermia.

Deputy Sheriff Greg Almos, reiterated that with warming temperatures the ice is a dangerous place for any activities. If an individual should fall through the ice they have only minutes before hypothermia will take over and they would slip below the surface of the ice. At that time an individual in these circumstance would become disoriented and cold water drowning is imminent. Although Lake Valley Fire and El Dorado County Search and Rescue carry surface water and ice rescue equipment, the closest available dive team for El Dorado County is located in Placerville, CA. Please be careful and stay off the ice.