It’s time for the February thaw, and on Lake Erie that means stranded icefishermen. Because this year was a colder-than-usual-of-late winter (let the global warming name-calling begin anew), the ice shanties did proliferate upon the frozen top of Erie, which meant that knuckleheads who had no business being out there were out there. And some who should have known better too.
Saturday, as things warmed up, a big crack appeared under their feet. They slipped out their depth and out of their minds, with their fears flowing out behind them, as they clawed the thin ice … oh, heh-heh, slipping into Pink Floyd mode there. Sorry.
As one clearly annoyed sheriff told the media (media is plural, please!), this was just stupid. Somebody threw wooden pallets over the crack as a makeshift bridge, which worked “fine” until the ice shifted. Duh. One guy fell into the water, had a heart attack and died. So, this is not a laughing matter.
Helicopters and air boats (we usually see them in the Florida Everglades) were on the scene to pluck out more than 100 stranded human popsicles.
I would not characterize myself as an “experienced” icefisherman. I’ve fished most of my life, but dragging a shed and snowmobile/car out on a temporarily solid surface to drop a hook in the water and freeze seems like the ultimate waste of time. But I have enough sense to stay off ice that HAS CRACKS in it.
Meanwhile, back on terra firma, concerns about melting snow leading to massive flooding have passed for the time being.