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After night spent drinking, man gets lost on lake, calls 911

Posted at 1:50 AM, Jan 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-08 01:50:56-05

FOND DU LAC, WI (WLUK/CNN) – A Wisconsin man who had been drinking at a bar was taken to a hospital for hypothermia after wandering onto a frozen lake and getting lost.

After a late night out at the bars in Fond du Lac, WI, officials say a 42-year-old man called 911 around 2:30 a.m. Sunday when he realized he was lost on the frozen waters of Lake Winnebago.

"They were able to ping his cell phone and get a general location,” said Capt. Joe Maramonte with the Fond du Lac Fire Department.

Maramonte says they found the man, unresponsive and underdressed, about a quarter mile off-shore. He was taken to the hospital for hypothermia.

At the time of rescue, the air temperature was about 12 degrees with wind speeds of about 15 mph.

"The lake is not the place to be walking around, as anywhere, if it's cold outside and you've had a few to drink,” Maramonte said.

Maramonte says it’s fortunate the man had his phone; otherwise, the situation could have turned tragic, as it did about a week ago in the case of Fond du Lac resident Lindsey Klima.

Klima died from exposure to the cold coming back from a New Year’s party. Her body was found in the same area where the 42-year-old man was rescued.

"We haven't had a ton of these over the years. I think two in the span of a week is pretty high,” Maramonte said.

Paramedic Lt. Rick Faris says alcohol mixed with the frigid temperatures can be dangerous.

"Alcohol is a vasodilator. It'll dilate the capillary beds in your skin. So, blood will flow there more readily, and it'll give you a false sense of being warm, especially with heavy drinking. That'll just increase the amount of heat lost in the cold,” Faris said.

Officials are urging people to use common sense when drinking.

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