SLIPPERY ROCK (KDKA) — A 73-year-old man who was ice fishing Saturday afternoon when he fell into the lake at Moraine State Park in Butler County has died.
Authorities have not yet released the man’s identity, but say he is from Butler.
George Roberts was driving along Route 422 when he saw Kenneth Andres, 73, of Butler, in distress. Roberts says the orange fishing gear the man was wearing caught his attention.
“I figured it didn’t look good because there wasn’t a lot of orange,” said Roberts. “So, I went and checked it out and when I drove down there, he was in the ice screaming for help.”
Roberts called 911.
He says the man’s screams continued for a while, but when Portersville firefighters and a conservation officer arrived on scene, the 73-year-old was unconscious.
Conservation Officer Rick Carson says he used a rescue alive sled to pull the man to shore around 5 p.m.
Carson says the man had walked 200 yards to go ice fishing in the lake off of Big Mountain Road.
“Then, he cut two or three holes around where he was standing, and these holes started seeping up water and weakened the ice,” said Carson. “And the ice broke in a 10-foot diameter to where he was fishing.”
The man had been in the icy water for 20 minutes. EMS crews performed CPR at the scene before taking him to Butler Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Even though right now is a popular time for ice fishermen to be out on the lake, conservation officers say with the temperatures warming up it’s just too risky.