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2 snowmobilers rescued after falling through ice on Island Park Reservoir

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The following is a news release from Fremont County Search & Rescue. Stock image

ISLAND PARK — Around 9 p.m. Thursday, Fremont County Search & Rescue was dispatched to Buttermilk Loop Road north of Lakeside Lodge at a deputy’s request.

A 32-year-old male and a 24-year-old female from Idaho Falls were riding a snowmobile from a cabin near Shotgun to Lakeside Lodge. As they were riding along the south shoreline of the Island Park Reservoir inlet, the ice broke and their sled sank. The two individuals made it to the bank and were able to call the Sheriff’s Office for help.

Two FCSAR members and two Fremont County deputies responded to the bank east of their location and worked their
way west. There were cornices hanging over the south bank, and searchers witnessed several give way during this
rescue.

A second search team was sent in to assist the first team. They were instructed not to ride snowmobiles on the
beach. One search member made it within 25 yards of the stranded individuals, but he was unable to go any further due
to the danger of the snow under his sled sliding into the reservoir.

The two subjects were instructed to walk east along the trees staying back from the bank. They met up with team two and
were shuttled back to base where Island Park EMS assessed them. The individuals refused transport, and a search
member gave them a ride back to the cabin.

Island Park Reservoir is not safe for snowmobile travel. The warm weather we received this last week has made the
ice very thin in places. The new snow we received over the last couple of days has hidden the slush sitting on top of the
ice. Until we get a good week of sub-freezing temperatures, the reservoir will not be safe for snowmobiles. Those
temperatures may not happen this season.

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