Multiple Vehicles Break Ice and Fall into Houghton Lake

While it’s been chilly, the conditions haven’t been right for some outdoor activities.

Snowmobiling was all fun and games for Joel Stirnemann and his father until things took a turn for the worse.

“I started to curve out and I motioned to him. I called for him, I said ‘Get out here, because this ice doesn’t look safe.’ I turned back and he had nose-dived into the ice,” Joel says.

“He kept trying to get out of the ice and kind just like rolled and it just kept breaking underneath him. So he pretty much walked back probably about 150 feet.”

Joel and almost a dozen people have fallen through Houghton Lake this week.

Moments after this rescue, Michigan State Police received another call about another snowmobiler that broke through the ice.

Denton Township Assistant Fire Chief Joseph Miracle has had to fish them out.

He attributes most of these accidents to visitors not knowing the area.

“The biggest thing is people lack the knowledge of the lake,” says Miracle. “They come up here to have a good time, which is more than welcome, but they don’t study what’s going on.”

He says just five days ago the lake was open water.

Miracle’s biggest piece of advice is to be aware of the ice levels on the lake before heading out.

“Ask the people around about the local conditions. Bait shops are a great knowledge for it, especially in the areas where you’re snowmobiling.”

For now, state police are warning people to stay away from the east and southeast ends of Houghton Lake.