Joan Godlewski was walking her dog when she saw a man trapped, trying to get out of the icy water.
“He was struggling," she recalled.
The incident occurred Monday morning in the 8900 block of Morse St. in unincorporated St. John, police said.
“His friend was getting him out fine...they got him out but then he took four steps and he went kerplunk again,” she said.
Officials say the man was ice fishing when he fell about 4 feet deep into the ice.
"I didn’t figure he would drop because it’s kind of shallow there and I figured he could touch bottom...but yeah, hypothermia, once that happens you’re in trouble," Godlewski said.
Longtime residents say ice fishing is common in the body of water but that it was too soon to go out.
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"He could trudge but once you get into the icy water rescue… your body starts going numb and you start losing your strength," said Lake Hills Fire Chief Shane Adams.
According to authorities, the victim was transported to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Crown Point and later discharged.
Monday's incident comes one day after divers rescued an 11-year-old boy who fell through thin ice in a pond in Naperville.
A sobering reminder say officials to stay off the ice.
“You should should have a minimum of four inches of ice before you start going out on it," Adams said.