Two teenage boys escaped injury Thursday night when they fell through thin ice on Indian Lake just off Rt. 80 in Denville, police said.
"We just heard them screaming for help," said Fred Greenberg, who lives on the edge of the lake, closest to where the two young men fell in.
Greenberg called 911 but as police arrived, they found the 17-year-old and 18-year-old had managed to climb out of the hole and skate to shore.
They were checked out at a nearby hospital for hypothermia, and then released when they were found to be fine.
The pair had been skating late at night, but Denville Police Chief Christopher Wagner pointed out that just a week ago, the area had record high temperatures in the 60s.
Wagner said when he was first starting out as a cop roughly three decades ago, there were never calls for ice rescues.
Now, there have been several in Denville and other towns in northwest New Jersey in recent years, some fatal as the climate has changed and ice becomes more inconsistent.
Because of that, Wagner said his department raised $10,000 to buy ice rescue suits.
He says every officer in his department, including himself, is trained with the gear and is ready for the next rescue.