Close Call Thursday When ATV Fell Into Open Water On West Lake Okoboji

Fri 1-14-2022

(Spirit Lake)– A close call Thursday evening when an all-terrain-vehicle went down in some open water on West Lake Okoboji. Chris Yungbluth of Arnolds Park-Okoboji Fire and Rescue says they, along with the Spirit Lake Fire Department and paramedics, were called to the area off of Triboji Beach and Lazy Lagoon around 5:15 pm…


“When we arrived both gentlemen had been rescued by other anglers in the area and were transported in by A-T-Vs to the Triboji area and were taken care of by Lakes Regional Healthcare ambulance.”

Yungbluth says the men’s conditions weren’t believed to be life threatening…


“They were of course both very cold from the exposure from the water and the air temperature, but the anglers did a good job of getting them into their shacks to keep them warm until they could be transported into the shoreline.”

Yungbluth says the outcome likely would have been much different if it hadn’t been for the action of nearby ice fishermen…


“If they didn’t have people around it definitely could have been a much different outcome and it sounds like the anglers were well prepared. Somebody had a rope and were able to throw it out to one of the gentlemen to rescue him and there was a few that were able to pull the other, the first gentleman out, just were able to pull him off the edge of the ice, and then had to use the rope to rescue the second one.’

Yungbluth says there some areas of variable ice thickness and even open water in some places…


“We’ve been hearing about some seams opening up a little bit and some holes that have been kept open by wildlife and different things like that especially on West Lake. Just variable, real variable ice still on west with those different spots, but not a lot on east or the lower chain as much that we’ve heard about but of course you always have to be careful when you’re going out onto the ice.”

Yungbluth says it is extremely important to have the necessary gear with you, such as heavy duty footwear, some rope, a wearable flotation device and ice picks. And if you’re driving a snowmobile, ATV or other type of vehicle, to not out-drive the distance of your headlights. Yungbluth says it’s especially difficult to see any open water when it’s dark.