Man in serious condition after being pulled from icy water

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Jan. 21, 2016) – A man was taken to an Indianapolis hospital with severe hypothermia after being rescued from icy water Thursday night.

According to the Indianapolis Fire Department, crews were dispatched around 4:30 p.m. to 2115 S. West St. for a water rescue. A kayaker ended up in the White River, partially submerged for 15 minutes.

Crews tried to reach him with throw bags, but those attempts proved unsuccessful because the bags didn’t reach far enough. They then used a 300-foot rope, which the man was able to wrap his arms around. They deployed a 16-foot hook ladder to give the man something to hold onto and pulled him to safety in about a minute.

IFD said four bystanders tried to help the man but were ultimately unsuccessful. They heard him yelling for help and saw his green kayak in the water. Still, they called 911 and made contact with the man in an effort to keep him awake, vital steps that contributed to his survival.

The man was clinging to a very shin sheet of ice and nearly went completely under the water, IFD said. The victim told firefighters that he put his kayak in the water off the walking trail at River Road on the north side between Hamilton County and Broad Ripple. He went to Eskenazi Hospital.

IFD said the rescue serves as a reminder for Hoosiers to stay off the ice. Even though temperatures have been frigid lately, no ice is safe. The department offered this advice:

It is very important to keep all pets and children away from bodies of water and if a pet runs onto the ice – do not run after it. If you witness entry onto the ice or into the water, immediately call 911 and stay put. Keeping a consistent visual on the victim or pet is important information for first responders. Utilize the reach – throw method if you have a nearby available item such a stick, branch, a rope or floatation device.