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Beware of thin ice

On Feb. 26., Kelly Farnsworth of Orangeville was enjoying a day of ice fishing at Millsite Reservoir. He had drilled through 17 inches of ice to reach the water, but he noticed several other areas on the lake were open water. Farnsworth was not the only fisherman out that day. There was one other fisherman on the lake.

Between 11 a.m. and noon, the other fisherman walked over and remarked how Farnsworth seemed to be catching fish and he wasn't. Farnsworth shared some of his homemade lures with this gentleman and learned he was visiting the area for a few days. The visitor was from Salt Lake City.

The visitor moved back to his own hole in the ice and began fishing with Farnsworth's lures and began to catch some fish. A short time passed when Farnsworth looked over in the man's direction and he was gone. Farnsworth looked closer and noticed an arm sticking out a hole in the ice. He was about 150 yards from the other fisherman and they were near the boat ramp area.

Farnsworth immediately ran over to other man and on the way heard cries for help. The visitor had fallen through a hole and was in the icy water, with only his head and one arm above the water line. Farnsworth was able to rescue the fisherman who was already beginning to lose strength due to the cold temperature of the water.

Farnsworth's advice to all fishermen is to be careful of the ice. With the temperatures rising above freezing, the ice may not be uniform in thickness and may be hazardous. Due to some natural phenomena, holes may appear in the ice because of warming conditions or other reasons. People should be aware of the holes, not only those which are cut there by fishermen, and avoid those areas.

Dan Richards, of the Utah State Parks said, "Just before ice up in the fall and break up in the spring, the ice is very unstable. We have posted signs that say be cautious, enter at your own risk. Each fisherman must be aware of the conditions and his own safety. Blue ice means it is weakening. For current ice and fishing conditions, go to the Utah State Parks website and click on the body of water you are interested in."

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