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2 girls OK after falling through ice in Washington Park

2 girls OK after falling through ice in Washington Park

By Keller Russell & WTMJ News Team. CREATED Jan 10, 2012 - UPDATED: Jan 10, 2012

MILWAUKEE- Two girls are recovering after falling through thin ice.  It happened at the Washington Park lagoon, in Milwaukee.

Signs are posted around the park warning of the dangerous ice.  But, Tuesday afternoon, a group of young girls took their chances and found themselves neck deep in water.

"It like cracked, cracked," explained Tanzanika Jones." Me and my friend just fell."

Jones is shaken, but safe.  The 11-year-old and another friend fell through the thin ice at Milwaukee's Washington Park around 4 p.m. Tuesday.  Two other girls were with them, but did fall in.

Jones said she told the others they should turn around, but before they knew it, it was too late. They were able to pull themselves out of the water and up onto an island in the lagoon.

"We were praying saying, 'I hope God can get us through this," said Jones.

Someone walking in the area saw them fall, and called 9-1-1.

The Milwaukee Fire Department responded with it's dive team, although a water rescue wasn't necessary. They used an inflatable slide to reach the girls and pull them to safety from the island.

"The worst that happened here, they got a little wet they're a little bit embarrassed," said Battalion Chief, Chris Snyder.

But Tuesday's close call is a reminder of how dangerous ice in Wisconsin is right now.

"It's been an unusually warm winter there's no ice safe anywhere in the area for you to be on," said Snyder.

In the last month, five people have died after breaking through thin ice; three of those in the last three days.

Saturday a man drowned when a car broke through ice bear Mosinee.

Sunday, the son of a Packer's coach drowned in the Fox River in Oshkosh.

And Monday, a man fell through a private pond in Monroe County and died.

Rescuers say just a few hours later, Tanzanika's day could have ended on a more somber note.

"I just thank god that they are still here and they still with us," said her mother Wyconda Clayton.  But her mother hopes others will learn a lesson from three young girls, close call, too.

"Just don't walk close by it (the ice) don't even get near it. Don't walk on it, it's dangerous," said Clayton.

Once the temps drop, the DNR reminds anyone venturing on the water to look for clear ice.  It's often stronger than ice with air bubbles or snow.