GENERIC: Michigan State Police logo

Michigan State Police is reporting that a fisherman has died after falling through the ice on Tawas Bay.

MSP said troopers from the West Branch Post were dispatched to the Tawas Bay on Saturday, Feb. 29, at about 5:40 p.m. for a subject that went through the ice.

Troopers said the family of Walker Whitford, 61, became concerned when he failed to return from ice fishing on the Tawas Bay.

A relative went onto the ice in search of Walker when he and another fisherman located his ice shanty with no one around.

Troopers said the relative and the other fisherman followed Walker’s all-terrain vehicle tracks leading to deeper water where they discovered a hole in the ice.

Troopers said Walker was found dead after falling through the ice.

Troopers said their investigation revealed that Walker inadvertently drove his all-terrain vehicle from thicker ice onto a recently refrozen portion of ice, which was only approximately one inch thick.

According to troopers, the ice on Tawas Bay has broken off and separated on at least two occasions this winter where new ice has formed.

Troopers caution ice fishermen to be extremely careful when venturing onto the ice. The use of flotation devices and ice picks are recommended.

Walker was recovered from the ice with the assistance from the US Coast Guard, Oscoda Township Dive Team, and troopers from the Michigan State Police.

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