Fisherman dies after falling through ice in New York

Officials say a person walking their dog saw the fisherman and his brother fall through the ice of Basswood Pond and called for help.

BURLINGTON, N.Y. – One man died after he and another man fell through the ice while fishing on Basswood Pond in Basswood Pond State Forest last week.

The men, ages 41 and 42, were brothers from nearby Richfield Springs in central New York.

The incident was reported at 2:45 p.m. Saturday when an individual walking his dog saw the two ice fishermen fall through the ice and called 911, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation in New York.

A forest ranger located about a minute away responded to the call, the DEC said. He saw the 42-year-old man treading water but lost sight of his brother.

The ranger then entered the icy surface of the pond and began crawling toward the 42-year-old. According to the DEC, the ranger then helped the man out of the water by using a throw bag, or a lightweight bag with a line attached to it and used for water rescue operations. The man grabbed the line of the throw bag. The forest ranger then pulled him onto a sled and pulled the sled to the shore, where members of the Edmeston Fire Department were waiting to assist.


Members of the EFD used their truck to start the drying and warming process to help the man, who was suffering from hypothermia.

The ranger then returned to the ice to find the man’s younger brother. He found the 41-year-old in 7-8 feet of water, the DEC said.

According to the DEC, rescuers began CPR on the 41-year-old before he and his older brother were transported to the hospital. The younger brother was declared deceased by the hospital later that evening. His brother was treated and released.

The DEC said the ice on Basswood Pond that afternoon was about an inch thick, which is considered unsafe for fishing.


Basswood Pond is part of Basswood Pond State Forest. It spans more than 15 acres and has a maximum depth of 15 feet, according to the DEC. It is most popular for its trout fishing.