UPDATE: Snowmobiler Dies After Falling Through Ice on St. Croix River

A 22-year-old man died today after his snowmobile went through the ice on the St. Croix River in Bayport.

UPDATED (4 p.m., Feb. 16, 2013): A 22-year-old man died today after his snowmobile went through the ice on the St. Croix River in Bayport.

The man, who law enforcement has not yet identified, was unconscious when first responders arrived. He was transported by ambulance to Regions Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The Ramsey County Medical Examiners Office and the Washington County Sheriff's Office are conducting the investigation. No additional information is available at this time.


UPDATE (1:42 p.m., Feb. 16, 2013): According to Washington County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Daniel Starry, just one snowmobiler — not two as originally reported by some media — went through the ice. 

Starry said a witness called in the report at 11:54 a.m., and multiple agencies, including the Washington County Dive Team, reported to the scene. One unconscious man was pulled from the water and taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul.

It appears the snowmobiler rode through open water about 75 yards off the shore, near Point Road in Bayport, Starry said.

"It's always open water there, and there are signs all over," Starry said. "I mean, he went right past the signs."

The incident remains under investigation.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office, along with the Stillwater, Oak Park Heights and Bayport police departments, the Washington County Dive Team and Bayport Fire Department responded to the scene.

First responders got the air boat to the scene pretty quick, Starry said.

"Everyone should heed the warning signs be careful out on the ice, especially on the St. Croix River, but also on all the lakes in the county," Starry said.  


ORIGINAL POST (12:55 p.m., Feb. 16, 2013): Two snowmobilers broke through St. Croix River ice near Bayport just before noon today.

The snowmobiler has been pulled out of the river.

The snowmobiler reportedly went through the ice about 75 yards off the shore, near Point Road in Bayport, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Office. The dive team responded to the scene.

According to the scanner, warm water feeds into the river near the Allen S. King power plant, which may have weakened the ice.

We'll update this story as more information is made available.

Micheal Foley February 16, 2013 at 10:09 PM
Shawn just updated the story. The man has died. He was 22. We're still not sure where he was from. We'll post additional details as they are released.
Shawn Hogendorf February 16, 2013 at 10:32 PM
I deleted a couple of comments on this post. Please keep your comments respectful.
Gary Kriesel February 16, 2013 at 11:21 PM
Thanks Shawn for taking down insensitive and cruel posts. Someone has lost their son and are grieving. Our prayers are with the family and friends.
Micheal Foley February 16, 2013 at 11:25 PM
Thanks Shawn. I posted this on my Facebook page, and I'll post it here too: Before posting, please show some sensitivity for the family and friends of the man who died. Please think of how you would feel reading comments if this had been someone close to you. The Stillwater/Hudson communities are very tight-knit, and this loss will be felt by many. I also changed the settings on this post so that either Shawn or I will need to approve any comments before they are published.
Jamie Smith February 16, 2013 at 11:31 PM
People are so rude. Someone has lost their life, and families have lost a loved one. SHOW SOME RESPECT people. THIS COULD HAVE HAPPENED TO ANYONE!!!!!!!
Ceil wicker February 17, 2013 at 12:24 AM
Yes people please keep your rude comments to yourselves. He was my nephew and there are details that are just not known to everyone. He grew up on this river and knew it very well.
Kelly February 17, 2013 at 01:13 AM
This one is going to hit Stillwater hard when they release the name. I am sooooooo sorry for this family's loss.
Paul Williqu February 17, 2013 at 02:19 AM
Hecame from a fantastic family!
Tammy February 17, 2013 at 03:09 AM
Thoughts and prayers to this WONDERFUL family!!!! Thank you for removing insensitive thoughtless comments! I'm so sad right now that words won't come to me...all I know is Heaven got a GEM!!!!
Michelle February 17, 2013 at 03:58 AM
Words cannot express how deeply saddened we are to hear of your loss. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you for your loss.
Shawn Smalley February 17, 2013 at 04:01 AM
Sad sad day. He will be missed. Sad
Jennifer Johnson February 17, 2013 at 05:17 AM
So very very sad for all his friends and family. I really do send you all my prayers at this tough time. God bless!
Priscilla February 17, 2013 at 01:42 PM
I pay my taxes so that the rescue workers can, and will, be there in just this kind of situation. I am offended that anyone would object to our local rescue workers trying to save a life. Have some sensitivity; what if this young man were your young man? I have lost a friend and am deeply embarrassed for our community that so many have the opinion that some have so callously displayed!
E.T. Hanson February 17, 2013 at 03:12 PM
So sad. I can't imagine losing my son. This is meant in the most respectful way possible, but this couldn't just happen to anyone as another poster stated. I was fishing on the river when this happened. There is a well known, well marked area of open water about the size of a football field. The rest of the area has 20"+ of ice with literally hundreds of cars and trucks driving up down and across the river. Young men often engage in risky behavior for the "rush" or to prove their manhood or whatever. If you ignore the risks to get that rush, sometimes bad things will happen. Maybe if we're honest about that, the next young man will weigh the risks and heed the warnings.
robert dombrowsky February 17, 2013 at 04:18 PM
Thank you for removeing the post from the people who wer insensitive and did not know this wonderful young man. I know when his name is released this whole community will be devastated!!!! He was the nicest kind harted person you would ever meet! Less than a month ago he raised almost 5000 dollars for muscular dysterify and he would risk his own life to help someone in need. We are all at a loss for excatly what happened he was a very experienced snowmobiler so I can only assume when he hit the water there was some type of mechanical failure that caused him to loose enough speed to not make it accross the water. Please pray for all affected by this tradgey!
Thomas February 17, 2013 at 06:51 PM
Anyone rember when they were building the power plant? "they" assured us that it wouldn't affect the river by warming the water from plant discharge. I guess it dosen't matter after so many years that that isn't true BUT there should be some sort of warning for those that aren't familiar with the area, Like 'Thin ice' signs ahead..MHO
Roxy Miller February 17, 2013 at 08:00 PM
He was one of those people that wore glasses. That is an issue when you snowmobile, I hope they didn't fog up on him and he couldn't see well, along with sun glare.
Sally Hanks February 17, 2013 at 08:03 PM
The bottom line here is that a father, whom this town loves and has a great respect for has lost his baby. Coming from a family who knows his hurt, there is no greater pain.
Fred Hauser February 17, 2013 at 11:58 PM
He was a great young man! I have known him since middle school; my son is one of his best friends. We will never know what really happened, so please don't throw stones. I will miss him greatly. I cannot begin to know the pain of the family. God bless you all, and thank you for raising a son to be proud of. I will always appreciate and cherish his memory.
Randy Marsh February 18, 2013 at 01:40 AM
For those who don't know or haven't heard, the Pioneer Press has reported the name of the individual who perished in this terrible tragedy.
E.T. Hanson February 18, 2013 at 01:59 AM
Obviously I don't know what happened, but I can tell you that thin ice signs are in place and highly visible
Micheal Foley February 18, 2013 at 02:02 AM
We were waiting for something official from the Sheriff's Office out of respect for the family. We'll have an update soon.
Micheal Foley February 18, 2013 at 02:05 AM
One fact that the PiPress didn't have: He was a 2009 graduate of Hudson High School.
Randy Marsh February 18, 2013 at 02:27 AM
As long as you're adding details perhaps you could more accurately describe what occurred, which is that he drove into open water, rather than stating that he "went through the ice".
Micheal Foley February 18, 2013 at 03:33 AM
Feel free to comment on our post with the latest information: http://patch.com/A-2b2H


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