WARSAW — A unique rescue took place in Warsaw Sunday afternoon when first responders were called to the north side of the lake near North Bay Drive where three deer were stuck in the icy waters of Winona Lake.
Property owners contacted Kosciusko County Central Dispatch at about 2 p.m. after spotting the three animals in the water.
Officer Jordan Boggs and Officer Nick VanderMolen from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources officers were initially sent to the area. Upon arrival, Boggs requested assistance from Warsaw-Wayne Fire Territory.
WWFT personnel arrived at the scene with cold water suits and a swift water rescue boat.
Boggs, wearing his water rescue suit, entered the water prior to the arrival of WWFT and began heading out toward the deer, according to WWFT Fire Chief Michael Wilson.
WWFT and Boggs rescued the deer individually using the water rescue boat and brought them to shore where VanderMolen, WWFT personnel and neighbors placed them on land and dried them with towels to help warm them.
“This is the first time we’ve got deer out of Winona Lake, but there’s a potential for that every year,” Wilson said when asked if WWFT has performed this type of rescue before.
“We have been involved in other animal rescues,” Wilson said. “Whatever comes up, we do.”
When the agencies left the scene, all three deer were safe and resting.
Wilson said he would like to remind the public to use caution around lakes and ponds as the warming temperatures have caused the ice to weaken.