DNR rescues couple from icy wetlands

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A young couple had to be rescued by the Department of Natural Resources after falling through thin ice in the Wabashiki Fish and Wildlife area Saturday.

Brennan T Chandler, 21, and Arica Wellman, 21, were walking through the wetlands when they fell through the ice into nearly five feet deep water.

Chandler was able to call 911 around 6:40 p.m. When rescuers arrived at the scene, the couple had been in the water for about an hour and a half. Both were conscious and alert but unable to move after being in the icy water for so long.

Rescuers donned immersion suits, which help protect against frigid water, and pulled the couple to safety.

Chandler was taken to Regional Hospital in Terre Haute, and Wellman was transported to Methodist Hospital. Both are being treated for severe hypothermia.

Indiana Conservation Officers want to remind people there is no such thing as “safe ice.”

“When you are in or around the ice in the winter time, remember to have a plan and take precautionary measures in case something goes wrong,” says Indiana Conservation Officer Thomas Lahay.  “Prepare yourself by taking protective and life-saving equipment with you.  Don’t go out on the ice unless it is at least 4” thick.  The rescuers in this case were fortunate enough to have had the training and the proper equipment to affect a successful rescue in less than ideal circumstances.  Their determination and bravery is to be commended.  The victims in this case were able to help themselves before they were physically unable to do so.”

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