MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The desperate screams woke Joni Bauer, of Independence, right out of bed, around 6:45am Saturday morning. At first she thought the noise was coming from the TV, but when she stepped out onto her deck overlooking Lake Sarah, she realized the screams were coming from the water.

Her neighbor yelled that he had already called 911, but the screams told Bauer there wasn’t enough time. So she woke up her husband and got the ladder.

“A few weeks prior, I heard my husband giving my son instructions on how you rescue someone that falls through the ice with a ladder,” Bauer said.

A life in construction taught Bauer ‘s husband, Dan, that his ladder could be a lifesaving tool.

“I’ve seen it, and it works,” said Dan Bauer, who’s lived on the lake for 25 years and is an avid ice fisherman.

Dan Bauer ran toward the broken ice, and found a fisherman nearly drowning.

“I couldn’t see him at first because he was behind chunks of ice, and then I seen something move, and I knew it was him,” said Bauer.

Bauer says he slid his ladder across the weak ice and angled into the 60 foot hole in the ice, where the fisherman was struggling.

“He looked like he didn’t have any hope left,” Bauer said. “I scaled the ladder, crawled out there on the edge of the ladder, pushed it up to him. He said he couldn’t do it, he can’t get out. I didn’t think he could do it, so I grabbed a hold of him a little bit and pulled it out.”

Bauer says the fisherman couldn’t speak and was clearly in shock. Rescue crews soon on scene told neighbors they believed the man would survive.

“His lucky day, mine too I guess, I got to help somebody out,” Dan Bauer said.

“I was pretty proud of my husband, pretty amazed,” added wife Joni Bauer. “I am glad I woke up, and it just feels like someone was watching over him and us.

Dan Bauer emphasized that two other neighbors helped the fisherman too.

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office hasn’t’ released the name of the fisherman but says he was treated and released from a nearby hospital.

Investigators say he was on an ATV when he fell through.

This week Hennepin County banned cars from lakes due to the warmer weather and weak ice, but spokeswoman Lisa Kiava says this incident proves that even ATVs and snowmobiles can be a risk in this unseasonably warm winter.

She says Saturday’s near-tragedy is a message to everyone: The cold weather in the past few days can offer a false sense of security and doesn’t mean the ice is safe, even on smaller lakes.

Comments (12)
  1. Citizen Kane says:

    Did the DNR show up and fine him for not inspecting himself for Milfoil?

    1. Rentacop says:

      Citizen Kane you are one sick person. I suggest you seek out some counseling.

    2. chuckle says:

      That was pretty funny actually.

    3. Joni Bauer says:

      Assuming that was a dig at the DNR, which they deserve, and NO, they didn’t show up at all. We were expecting them to at least place a bouy so that the ATV can be located when they can get it out. The Sherriff’s department put out some thin ice signs – not enough. The whole area should have been roped off.

  2. Not Surprised says:

    Darwin was right.

  3. Rentacop says:

    I’m glad he will be okay, BUT doesn’t anyone watch the news,or read the newspaper anymore ? These accidents have been going on ALL winter. STAY OFF THE ICE !!!!!

  4. Bwab says:

    A fisher fell through the ice? They can swim just fine! How about a fisherman fell through the ice.. How about we name the lake this happened on? Can we get an editor please?

  5. alligator says:

    a FISHER fell thru?…..a FISHER isd a weasel like animal about 15 pounds……no idiot in Minnesota EVER refers to a FISHERMAN as a fisher……..what kind of morons does WCCO have working as reporters and as editors?.

  6. rick says:

    WHO is rightin these stories? Does anyone reed these before hitting the send key!!!!

  7. Pat says:

    Maybe it was a politically correct female zombie who didn’t want to use the sexist word fisherMAN.

    She should be sent home to cook and clean for men.

    1. alligator says:

      exactly…..as that is womens primary role on this earth……..like we dont already know this.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Watch & Listen LIVE