Man, pregnant woman swim 50 yards for help after snowmobile goes through ice

A 22-year-old pregnant woman and a 29-year-old man were cold but otherwise unharmed when their snowmobile fell through the ice on the Wolf River early Sunday morning.

Jennifer Pliska of Stevens Point and Shaun Wenzel of Fremont had to swim about 50 yards to get help after their 2001 Ski Doo snowmobile went through the ice at 2:59 a.m. Sunday.

Pliska, who is six months pregnant, was taken to Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca, said Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department Lieutenant Todd Christopherson.

“They were driving on the Wolf River and fell through some thin ice,” he said. “The snowmobile is currently at the bottom of the Wolf River.”

Pliska was listed at the driver of the snowmobile and Wenzel as the passenger, but the snowmobile was not registered to either user.

Paul Jenson, spokesman for Riverside Medical Center, said Pliska was treated and released from the hospital after the accident.

Christopherson said the ice is not thick enough for people to be using their snowmobiles on the water yet.

“That’s not a very good idea right now, especially on a river with the currents,” he said. “That’s the last you place you want to be and even when the lakes freeze, the rivers are always the last to freeze.”

Typically, ice should be at least 12 inches thick before people ride their snowmobiles on it, Christopherson said.


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