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Central Minn. man pulled from lake after ATV plunges through ice

LAKE LILLIAN, Minn. – Emergency responders are being credited for rescuing a man Thursday morning, Nov. 29, after the ATV he was riding plunged through ice and into the frigid waters of Big Kandiyohi Lake in central Minnesota.

The incident was reported at 7:19 a.m. when the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office received a call that an individual had gone through the ice about 200 yards from shore.

At the scene, rescue personnel found William H. Wurtz, 49, of Hanska, holding onto the edge of the ice in a part of the lake that’s about 8 to 10 feet deep.

Blomkest Fire Chief Matt Erickson said three Blomkest firefighters donned cold weather suits, got into the water and “boosted” Wurtz onto a ladder that was used to pull him onto firm ice.

Wurtz was transported to shore by sled and taken by helicopter to the St. Cloud Hospital.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources issued a statement Thursday advising anglers that ice conditions remain extremely variable – even on the same body of water.

The DNR said people on foot should stay off the ice until there’s at least four inches of new, clear ice and they should check conditions at least every 150 feet whenever they’re on the ice.

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