MERCER COUNTY AREA —
“You see ice today, it might look thick, but it’s not,” he said.
If pets become trapped on ice, “you need to make a conscious decision of what you are going to do,” Holmes said.
“Once you’ve been in the water for 20 minutes, you’re done,” he said, meaning that’s how long it takes for fatal hypothermia to set in.
“You’re in 30-degree water, it’s not going to take long – you’re muscles and organs start shutting down,” Holmes said. “It sure was a huge eye-opener. This is the most dangerous time to go out on the ice.”
“Do not go out on the ice!” Holmes declared.
A couple other incidents at lakes in the region should hammer home the point.
Officials in Butler County said an elderly ice fisherman fell into Lake Arthur’s Big Run Bay in Moraine State Park on Saturday afternoon.
A passer-by on Route 422 spotted something orange in the water and called emergency responders at about 5 p.m. Saturday.
A park ranger pulled the man to shore on a pontoon-type sled, and he was taken to Butler Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Park operations manager Dan Bickel said the victim was 73-year-old Kenneth Andres. Bickel said officials don’t know how long he was in the water. He said the victim was fishing alone “which is never recommended.”
Also on Saturday, emergency responders rescued two people who fell through ice on Pymatuning Lake.
Linesville Volunteer Fire Department arrived on scene as a third individual reportedly attempted to help the other two, according to Fire Chief William Mickle, who reported both individuals were safely pulled out by 5:50 p.m.
One person was sent to UPMC Horizon, Greenville, for treatment, Mickle said.
Jamestown Volunteer Fire Department, Conneaut Lake Ambulance and the state park ranger assisted on scene.
Authorities did not identify those involved. No further details were released.