Two women and a man fell through the ice on the pond at Parque de Vida Park shortly before 3 p.m. Wednesday. The women were rescued by Cortez firefighters and police officers after the man was able to make his way to shore.
Cortez Fire Protection District Chief Jay Balfour said the women were transported Southwest Memorial Hospital to be treated for severe hypothermia. The man, who self-rescued, was also sent to the hospital for a medical check.
Balfour estimated the women were in the pond for about 10 minutes.
“To be in frozen water for 10 minutes, only in street clothes, jeans and a jacket, man that’s pretty chilly,” Balfour said.
Balfour didn’t have names for three, but he said alcohol impairment may have been a contributing factor, although he was not sure of that.
The trio fell into the pond, which is 12 feet deep at its deepest, about in its center, he said. Balfour did not know why the trio was walking across the mostly frozen pond.
Two firefighters in rescue suits, which Balfour said are heavy duty dry suits that can be attached to ropes, went into the pond to retrieve the two women.
Police pulled the firefighters, who where holding the women, to shore.
Balfour said police arrived on scene first, and they threw ropes to the women, but they were unable to muster the strength to hold onto the lines.
Balfour said the rescue was not the first ice rescue in the pond.
He said people fall through the pond’s ice about every other year.
“It happens more often than it should,” he said. “We even get reports of kids playing on the ice. Obviously, it’s not safe and people should not be walking on the ice.”