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Police officers carry freezing man following self rescue from frozen lake

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MCDONALD LAKE – The ice started to crack as a man stood on McDonald Lake during the late evening of Monday, Feb. 24. According to Lake County Sheriff Don Bell, the ice completely broke and the man fell through into the cold water at around 10:45 p.m.

The man’s name isn’t being released at this time. The Sheriff did say that the man was at the lake with a friend when he fell through the ice. At the lake, a call was made to Lake County 911 Dispatch for help. 

A Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputy and Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Police Department officer arrived on the scene to find the man outside of the water on the south side of the lake. About an hour before officers arrived, the man was able to get himself out of the water during a “self-rescue” and get to the shore. He had to “break through 50 to 75 feet of ice in order to reach the lakeshore,” according to Bell.  

The man’s friend was rendering first aid when help arrived. “When the officers found him, he was unable to walk and was in a hypothermic state,” Bell said. Officers carried the man for about half a mile to a road where emergency medical responders were waiting, along with volunteers from the St. Ignatius Fire Department. The man was transported to a local hospital. Updates will be made to this story as more information is learned.

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