Ice Fatalities in North America During February 2014



Saskatoon  Canada  February 2, 2014

The blue marker is approximately where the victim walked onto the frozen river.

A 28 year old man was riding on a 'pub-crawl' bus after he was asked to leave a bar where he was celebrating his bachelor party.  Reports say the victim was assaulted by a nightclub bouncer on the bus who was apparently upset with the victim because he had not have a ticket/wristband to ride the bus.  The victim left the bus near the Saskatchewan River.  Someone was later seen walking on the ice and observed to fall through not far from shore. Blood on the ice matched the victim.   As of late April the body had not been found.


 Plummer ID,February 2014

A boy (9) and a girl (5) were looking for their dog when they walked onto a frozen pond and fell through. Their grandmother found the children, called 911 and  retrieved the children.  They were taken local health center where they were pronounced dead. It is not known how long the children were in the water. 


Washington NH, February 8, 2014

Millen Lake is a little less than a mile long.   The blue marker is a guess on where the accident took place based on the description.  There are not many houses with lights around the lake to help with navigation. 

A close up of the NE end of Millen lake showing the density of snowmachine tracks left over from the winter. Note: these images were taken in April of 2011. 

A 62 year old man riding his snomobile on Millen Lake at around 1AM.  He lost control of his machine, hit the north east shore at speed and was killed. 


Winsor NY, February 8, 2014

Forest Lake.  The outlet is inthe middle of the dam at the south end.

 The dam and outlet stream south of Forest Lake.  The water in the pictue is probably where he fell through.  Water coming from the outlet or welling up as ground water may have been warm enough to inhibit ice growth.  

A 39 year old,  experienced trapper was walking on ice on flowing water at the outlet of the lake near the Forest Lake Campground.  He broke through and went in to his chest.  A friend helped him back onto the ice.  As he headed back to his vehicle he passed out.  911 was called and he was taken to the hospital.  He was later pronounced dead.  An autopsy indicated he had a heart attack as a result of cold water immersion. 

Although the thin ice was attributed to flowing water at the outlet, the water needs to be warm as well to erode the ice.  Flowing streams typically have a bulk water temperature of 32.1 degrees.   Daily average temps had been about 15 degrees  for the previous week so top surface melting of the ice did not occur.  Warmer water could have come from the deeper water in the lake being drawn to the top surface or, if the outlet stream about 500 ft south of the dam had significant ground water input,  that could have provided enough warmth to keep the ice thin.  It is not clear whether he broke through on the lake or the outlet stream. Either way it is likely that there was thin ice associated with the outlet and areas like that should be avoided. A test pole would make it considerably less likely to break through.  



 Powell OH, February 11, 2015

The blue marker is where the accident occurred.  The red markers show the location of three other aerators 

A 74 year old man was walking near a park pond with aerators.  His dog ran out on the ice and the man followed, breaking through near one of the aerators.  It sounds like the dog was on a leash.  A neighbor heard the dog barking (the dog did not fall through) and figured out what happen.  The man was removed from the water after an estimated 20-25 minutes.  He later died in the hospital.  

Aerators are a significant hazard on winter ponds.

 Screen Capture of NBC4 aerial video showing the effect of the aerators on the ice and the tracks in the snow from the recovery.  It is possible that the ice is thinned further from the aerator than the darkened snow ring. 

More on dogs and ice...



  Delta WI, February 13, 2014



Basswood Lake.  The blue marker is an access ramp.  The red marker is another point where the road is close to the lake.  It is also the outlet for the lake. 

Close up of the outlet area.  

A 68 year old man and a friend were trying to access Basswood lake from a different place than they had used in the past.  They were looking for a place with less snow. The man led the the way onto the lake and broke through near the shore.  On the Lake Line forum a gentleman who has a cabin on the lake near the accident said that the area around the outlet tends to stay open.  



 Montevideo MN, February 13, 2014

A random section of the Minnesota River about three miles SE of Montevideo

A 41 year old man was riding his snowmobile on the Minnesota River southeast of Montevideo.  Around 8:45PM a crash was reported.  He hit a tree stump sticking up from the ice and was killed. 


 Devalan WI February 22, 2014

Dehavalan Lake.  The blue markers are in cattail swamps.

A 51 year old man on a snowmobile collided with shore at speed at around 8PM.   He was ejected from his sled and killed.  His BAC was reported as 0.226% 


Flaming George WY , February 17, 2014

The blue marker is approximately where they spent the night. 

A father (58) and his son (17) were fishing on ice on the Flaming George Reservoir with a larger group. The father and son slept in their fishing hut.  The next morning they were both unresponsive.  It was determined that they died of carbon monoxide poisoning.   They had a propane heater. 



Alpena MI, February 23, 2014

The blue marker indicates the approximate location of the accident


A  man (age: 32)  was riding on the ice near his house when he hit a metal boat hoist and was ejected from his sled.  His body was found the next morning. Speed and alcohol are probable factors. The probable time of the accident was not given in the available reports however it is likely that it occurred at night. 


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