Vehicle breaks through the ice on Lake Champlain
The Grand Isle Sheriff’s Department received a call on Feb. 28 from a concerned citizen that reported seeing what seemed to be a vehicle that had broken through the ice near Fish Bladder Island on Lake Champlain. The caller reported that the vehicle appeared to be partially submerged, but headlights could be seen and it was unknown if anyone was in the vehicle.
Due to the nature of this call, the Vermont State Police, South Hero Fire and Rescue, Grand Isle Police and Fire, North Hero Fire, U.S. Coast Guard, Milton Police and a Boarder Patrol helicopter responded to the area to assist in searching for this vehicle and any occupants that may have been involved.
Upon arrival of rescue personnel, the vehicle was located with the assistance of the helicopter in about 15 minutes. Authorities said that when rescue crews got to the vehicle about a mile out onto the ice, investigation found that no one was with the vehicle nor was it believed that anyone had fallen through the ice.
While rescue crews continued to search the surrounding area for any possible occupants of the vehicle that may be missing, members of the Grand Isle Sheriff’s Department responded to the residence of the vehicle’s registered owner, Howard Snider. Upon speaking with Snider, he confirmed this vehicle was his and no one was missing. Snider advised the three men were out on the lake earlier in the day ice fishing when his vehicle partially fell through the ice. Snider said that because all of the fishers were able to exit the vehicle without incident and were not injured, he just called for a friend to come pick them up with an ATV rather than reporting it to authorities.
Due to the dangers of the current ice conditions, the vehicle was left at the scene until it can be safely removed. All rescue personnel were able to get off the ice and back to safety.
Vermont State Police want to remind everyone of the dangers and unpredictably of ice conditions on all waterways and to advise all citizens to call 911 or your local police should an incident occur while on a body of water.