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Father, Daughter Survive Falling Through Ice On Alexandria Lake

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. (WCCO) -- A trip across a frozen lake for a father and daughter nearly took a turn for the worse when their utility vehicle went through the ice.

It happened Saturday afternoon at Lake Ida in Alexandria. Luckily, the two were able to stand on the partially submerged four-wheeler

WCCO's Jeff Wagner talked to the diver who retrieved the vehicle, who also has a word of warning for others venturing out onto lakes this winter.

"I always tell them the same thing. I say there's no such thing as safe ice," Jeff Bosek said.

Those chilling words from expert diver Jeff Bosek rang true for an Alexandria family this weekend on Lake Ida.

"People called and said there was a car that fell through the lake and then it was a truck and then the people were still standing on it," Bosek said.

He got those calls because he owns Bosek Underwater Services, a company that specializes in retrieving large equipment such as vehicles out of bodies of water.

Back at Lake Ida, investigators say Patrick Wolf was driving a utility vehicle with his 4-year-old daughter on board when it fell through thin ice.

"It was near a creek that was running through the lake and because it's been so warm that kind of opened up a little more water and it had a major underflow that had thawed it out quite a ways," Bosek said.

Luckily, they fell through in a shallow area. The vehicle hit the bottom when it submerged, allowing the victims to stand on it. Rescue crews reached them using a flotation device.

Investigators say Wolf didn't know creek ran into the area where they fell.

"Almost all the times where I do recoveries, someone's driving on a new part of the lake they've never been and they're going to cut across to go visit a buddy and that's when they hit something, thin ice and fall through," Bosek said.

Bosek hopes this incident reminds people to familiarize themselves with lakes and also mind the weather, since it's been an unseasonably warm January.

"So it doesn't take long to melt ice. If you get any wind, it'll just make a hole in the ice and then you can drive right into that hole," Bosek said.

The victims were taken to a hospital for observation, but there were no injuries reported. Officials say if you are out on the ice to always wear a life preserver and carry ice picks.

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