Fire department rescues swimmer in Lake Mendota

Man told girlfriend he planned to swim across lake
Fire department rescues swimmer in Lake Mendota

A swimmer was rescued from Lake Mendota early Monday morning, just days after another swimmer drowned after jumping in the lake late at night.

The incident happened just after 5 a.m. on Monday in the 100 block of Iota Court, just east of the University of Wisconsin campus.

According to the Madison Fire Department, a woman called 911 right after her boyfriend informed her that he would attempt to “swim across Mendota.”

When the lake rescue team arrived, the man was trying to return to shore and was struggling in the water. The rescue team found him and pulled him from the water about 250 yards from shore.

“Officers stated they could hear a male subject screaming for help, and when fire and rescue responded they said he was struggling,” said Howard Payne, public information officer at the Madison Police Department.

Madison Fire Department spokeswoman Lori Wirth said the man was reportedly intoxicated.

Last Friday, fire crews recovered a body from Lake Mendota after a person went out in the middle of the night to go for a swim. Matthew Roelse, 22, of Madison, drowned while swimming with a friend.

Wirth said Monday’s rescue by the fire department’s lake rescue team was only about 600 feet away from where the man went into the water last week.