Authorities say two ice fisherman have died after they fell through ice on the Saginaw Bay.
The Huron County Sheriff’s Office was called about 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4 for reports of two ice fisherman missing near Rose Island in Fairhaven Township.
A friend of the one of the fisherman received a voicemail from the victim, saying he and another man had broken through the ice and were in need of help, Sheriff Kelly Hanson said.
Officials were able to locate an ATV and fish shanty in the water about ½ mile west of Rose Island. Hanson said two deputies suited up in cold water gear to search for the victims. After searching the hole with no luck, they boarded the airboat and began searching the surrounding ice.
About two hours later, the airboat crew found both men about 900 feet northeast of the original scene. The water was about 4 feet deep in the area, Hanson said.
After an investigation, officials now believe the original incident happened about 9:30 a.m.
Hanson said snow squalls, strong north winds, and very cold temperatures were also believed to have played a big part in this tragedy.
“With repeated warnings over the last couple of weeks about unsafe ice already being issued, we once again remind anglers that the ice conditions are very unpredictable. The thaws we’ve experienced this season and refreezes with added snow covering have made for unstable ice. Please do not take the ice for granted just because colder temperatures are once again occurring. The reward is in no way worth the risk,” Hanson said in a press release.
The fisherman have been identified as 73-year-old Dennis W. Shaw of Fowlerville and 69-year-old Willard E. Slider of Caro.
Hanson said autopsies have been scheduled for both men.
Copyright 2018 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.