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Firefighters Rescue Man From Icy Surface Of Lake Michigan Near Hyde Park

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Firefighters rescued a man who was walking on the frozen surface of Lake Michigan for more than half an hour on Thursday morning, and apparently didn't even realize it.

Police and fire officials said the man was spotted walking on the ice on Lake Michigan around 7:20 a.m. near 54th Street, near the Hyde Park neighborhood.

A Chicago Fire Department helicopter and rescue squad responded to the scene and used an inflatable raft to help bring the man off the ice around 8:10 a.m.

Fire Department officials said the man told them he didn't realize he was walking on the ice over Lake Michigan.

"This rescue went smoothly but the outcome could have easily been a tragedy. Avoid the ice at all costs. No ice is safe!" a Fire Department spokesperson posted on Twitter.

CBS 2' Sabrina Franza spoke to one of the rescuers Deputy District Chief Jason Lach, who said he had no idea that he was on the ice even with signs and postings.

"He was too far out and moving towards open water," he said.

Within minutes the college student was rescued -- not knowing the rescue was for him.

"One moment you can have ice, the other moment you can't. what happens is you have voids. with those voids, even just walking on it, you could walk on it and fall into the water."

The student was given a citation for disorderly conduct. The Chicago Fire Department says the student is not from Chicago.

If anyone wandering over here ever happens to get too close to the ice that they call in. The best thing to do is to pull yourself out, lay on your stomach with your weight evenly distributed, and crawl as far as you can.

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