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Crawford County Man Survives Falling Through Ice After Heroic Rescue

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There was one person who fell through the ice while fishing this weekend who was rescued and survived.

He would have frozen to death in Crawford County’s Howes Lake if it weren’t for some watchful eyes and some incredibly good fortune.

9&10’s Cody Boyer and photojournalist Derrick Larr continue our coverage with how the fisherman is still alive today.


“The stars were lined up just right for this guy,” says Crawford County Sheriff Kirk Wakefield.

A man, ice fishing in the middle of Howes Lake, crashed into frigid water…

“This could’ve been disastrous,” Sheriff Wakefield says.

An employee inside the Camp Shawano Juvenile Detention Facility saw it happen…

“If Camp Shawano hadn’t have been there, and they had not have been looking out the window at that moment, they wouldn’t have seen him,” Sheriff Wakefield says. “He would have died. There’s no doubt about it."

Their 9-1-1 call, from the middle of nowhere, reached someone unexpectedly nearby…

“One of my deputies had just been out there, looking for a stray dog,” Sheriff Wakefield says. “He had the dog catcher pole in his car with him and he was just around the corner when the call came."

The deputy pulled the man out as more deputies arrived.

“Heroic,” Sheriff Wakefield says. “I mean, if it hadn’t have been for chase, the guy would not have made it."

The guys at Lyman’s On The Lake in Houghton Lake say it’s a reminder to know your bodies of water…

And remember ice is always dangerous.

“Is it spring-fed? Just because it’s a small lake, it could be very deep,” says Kurt Beachnau, owner of Lyman’s. “It could be 30, 40 feet deep whereas this one, the average depth is about 8 feet."

The sheriff says the man suffered hypothermia — but will be fine.

“Usually, things like this turn out to be a fatality,” Sheriff Wakefield says. “This guy is extremely lucky and needs to thank his lucky stars."