Visitors fall through ice at Rockport |

Visitors fall through ice at Rockport

Three visitors at Rockport State Park fell through the ice Sunday evening in an incident that was quickly resolved with no injuries.

Detective Kacey Bates, with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, said the incident took place at approximately 5 p.m. when a call came in to say three people had fallen through the ice. Search and Rescue was alerted and preparing to respond when another call came in.

"It was probably about six minutes later," Bates said. "We were told that all three had gotten themselves out of the water, that they were safe and they were refusing any medical attention."

The Search and Rescue team was notified to stand down but Bates said deputies still responded to the scene to assess the situation.

"Just to make sure everyone really was OK," Bates said.

When deputies arrived, the three people involved were determined to be safe and they again declined medical attention.

Joe Donnell, Rockport Park Manager, was able to shed a bit more light on what happened. He said he received a call from someone who watched the incident take place. He said it happened at the Dam pullout.

"They had been fishing and when they tried to get off the ice they fell through a very short distance from shore," Donnell said. "Two of them fell in up to the chest, and the other was able to get off without getting wet."

Donnell said as he sees it their only mistake was being "a little too eager to go ice fishing." He said when warmer weather rolls in it requires even greater diligence on the part of park visitors.

"The ice around the edges is not safe," he said. "And sometimes people can get on early in the morning but by the time they leave the edges have deteriorated even more or the wind shifts and there is more open water than when they went out."

Conditions on the lake have gotten worse, from an ice fishing perspective, and Donnell said he expects that trend to continue.

"If it does, ice fishing season is probably over," he said.

The silver lining, he added, is that when ice fishing season may be over, open water fishing takes its place.

"There is a lot of open water at the south end where the Weber River comes in and it can be really good fishing right now," he said.

Donnell advised potential visitors who want to ice fish to understand that conditions are "inherently unsafe" and ice fishing is to be done "at your own risk." Really, though, his advice was even simpler than that.

"Wait for open water."

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