A Wayne is lucky to be alive after he fell through ice in Ringwood State Park Friday afternoon, officials said.
Guncel Karadogan, 34, was walking alone on the lake at 1:30 p.m. when one of his snowshoes went through the ice and into the lake, said Larry Ragonese, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection.
Ramapo Lake is a 120-acre lake in Ringwood State Park. The area is used by hikers and bird watchers.
Karadogan fell through the ice when he sat down to try and free his foot from the ice. A nearby witness who was watching Karadogan when he fell through, called 911.
“He was alone,” Ragonese said. “If that witness didn’t happen to be there and didn’t see him he wouldn’t be alive.”
The Oakland dive and rescue team was on the scene in 15 minutes.
Karadogan was clinging to the ice, Ragonese said. With the witnesses’ help, they fed a ladder they borrowed from a nearby home to Karadogan who pulled himself up out of the ice. He was dressed in full winter attire, which, Ragonese said, helped keep him warm, but added extra weight in rescuing him.
Karadogan had to be resuscitated on the. He was responsive and speaking when taken to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center.
“If you’re going to go out into nature, bring someone along with you,” Rangonese said. “That’s always a good rule of thumb.”