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Fire crews rescue snowmobiler from McCharles Lake

‘I really need to stress ice conditions are not sufficient for these types of activities,’ says deputy fire chief
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Greater Sudbury Fire Services water-rescue crews were called to McCharles Lake in Naughton this morning to rescue a snowmobiler who fell through the ice.

A snowmobiler is lucky to have walked away from a very dangerous situation when his machine broke through the ice on McCharles Lake Road in Naughton today.

The snowmobiler has been taken to Health Sciences North, said Jesse Oshell, deputy chief, Greater Sudbury Fire Services.

“I couldn’t tell you his condition, though,” said Oshell. “It was a man, between 35-45 years of age. Right now, this has a positive outcome, but it could have been much worse.”

Water rescuers from two different stations attended the scene at about 9:10 a.m. The individual had already been in the water for a short period of time before crews arrived.

“Thankfully he was able to hold onto the ice until crews were able to pull him out,” said Oshell.

Two water-rescue crews were dispatched to the scene, one from the Long Lake station, the other from the Minnow Lake station. 

“I really need to stress ice conditions are not sufficient for these types of activities, there’s open water, thin ice and visibly moving water,” Oshell said. 

“We need to ensure the public understands these are not safe conditions, and to exercise extreme caution now and at all times.”

Greater Sudbury Fires Services responds to only a handful of these kinds of calls each winter, Oshell said. 

“Calls where we have to actually pull people from the water are relatively low, depending on the year,” he said. 

However, with the pandemic forcing people to stay home, and those people looking for ways to get out and do something, Oshell said “we are now very concerned about people getting out and snowmobiling, walking and skating on lakes and waterways they shouldn’t be on yet."