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Divers practice ice rescues in Clear Lake, WoodruffSubmitted: 03/18/2018
Erin Beu
Erin Beu
Reporter/Anchor
ebeu@wjfw.com

Divers practice ice rescues in Clear Lake, Woodruff
WOODRUFF - Ice fishermen had until Sunday to move their ice shanties off the ice.

The Oneida County Dive Team knows that doesn't mean people won't still be out on the lakes.

Saturday, rescue divers geared up and got under the ice to be better prepared if anyone should fall through the ice this spring.

"They'll learn how to be self-reliant and how to rescue their partner," said Oneida County Dive Team dive master Laura Fuhrman.

Fuhrman and other team members participated in the team's annual ice rescue training.

"[Diving] is different in cold water," said Fuhrman.

Divers geared up with suits and equipment that weigh more than 100 pounds.

"It's a lot easier [to wear] underwater than it is walking with," said Fuhrman.

Divers had to rescue a fake victim and even one of their own teammates under the ice.

"We really stress safety in all our dives. But especially in an ice dive," said assistant dive team leader Michael Fraley.

Fraley has been a part of the team since it started more than a decade ago.


The team is made up of law enforcement, fire fighters and civilians.

"We're scattered around the county so we can be on call 24/7," said Fuhrman.

With ice melting more every day, Fraley warns that no ice is 100 percent safe.

You should always have some form of a floatation device while on the ice.

"It's one thing to really help you out when you get in a jam," said Fraley.

The ice training helps divers get people out of those jams in a safe way.

"In a situation where you hope it never happens but you have to be prepared for those types of things," said Fuhrman.

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