MADISON (WKOW) -- Just a week after a tragic drowning off the UW-Madison lakeshore, rescue crews were again on Lake Mendota Thursday night searching for a missing swimmer.
A UW police officer was on foot patrol around 11:30 p.m. when he noticed a pile of clothes and personal belongings on Alumni Pier, near the Memorial Union. Witnesses nearby told the officer a male had jumped into Lake Mendota shortly before 11:00 p.m. with the intention to swim across the lake. He hadn't been seen since that time.
Madison Fire's water rescue team responded to the scene, but shortly after their arrival, the man swam back to the pier. The 22-year-old UW student told authorities he had decided against swimming across the lake, as it was a bad idea. The student was transported to a local hospital and treated for possible hypothermia.
The UW-Madison Police Department wants to remind students and visitors that lake conditions can be extremely dangerous, especially at night, and in areas not designated for swimming.
They offer these tips:
- Never swim alone or after drinking alcohol.
- Never swim at night. Rescue efforts can be difficult or impossible.
- Only use designated swimming areas, during designated hours. Memorial Union has lifeguards staffed on the lakefront until dusk. Those lifeguards are specially trained and have rescue equipment available to them, if needed.
- Lake conditions can change quickly – weeds, algae, debris, and other underwater hazards can be dangerous, if not deadly.
- Know who to call in case of an emergency – call 911 for the fastest and best response.
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