'Realized it was a person:' Fishermen rescue woman from middle of lake in Racine County

NOW: ’Realized it was a person:’ Fishermen rescue woman from middle of lake in Racine County

RACINE COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Two Burlington fishermen are now being hailed heroes, after saving a young woman struggling in a lake Monday night, April 27.

Caleb Rose and Gerald Amettis were out fishing together on Browns Lake in Burlington Monday evening, when they noticed something in middle of the lake.

"Off to the right, towards the sunset, was a shadow in the water,” Amettis said. “It looked like a ball at first and as we got closer we realized it was a person.”

That person was a 26-year-old woman. Rose said only the woman’s nose, eyes and forehead were out of the water when they reached her. He said she was fully clothed and holding her purse in her hands.

The men say she was not responding and so they yanked her into the boat. The water temperature was less than 50 degrees.

"That water is frigid cold,” Rose said. “We were in full winter gear out there.”

The Racine County Sheriff’s Department believes she’d been in the lake as long as 45 minutes.

"We wrapped her in our jackets, started rubbing her down and warming her up and shot her back to shore as fast as we could,” Amettis said.

The woman told deputies she wanted to swim across the lake.

An ambulance took her to the hospital for treatment and a possible mental health evaluation.

"As far as a hero, no.” Amettis said. “I feel like a father doing just what any other father would have done for a kid.”


Published: 6:10 a.m. on April 28, 2020 

RACINE COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Two fishermen are being credited with pulling a 26-year-old woman out of Browns Lake on Monday, April 27.

According to the sheriff's office, authorities received a call around 7:22 p.m. about a suspicious vehicle parked near the lake in Burlington. The caller said they saw a woman get out of the car and walk toward Browns Lake. Authorities responded to the scene, but did not find the woman.

Around 8:05 p.m., the Racine County Communications Center got a call saying two fishermen were pulling a 26-year-old woman from the water that was suffering from hypothermia. When deputies got to the scene, they determined the woman matched the description of the person who parked the car earlier near the lake. The woman told authorities she wanted to swim across Browns Lake.

The sheriff's office said the woman was in 40-50 degree water for 35-45 minutes. The fishermen said they saw something bobbing up and down in the water. They initially thought it was a ball, but then realized it was a woman. They said when they got to her, the water was at her ear level and she was barely treading water.

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