Walking on thin ice: Fisherman rescued

Posted at 3:45 PM, Feb 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-28 15:55:35-05

(WFMJ) At Pymatuning Lake State Park in Pennsylvania, a man hoping to lure walleye to his bait, then bucket, ended up in deep trouble.

"He kept going out further and further and when he got out where the main river channel flows the current is, I knew the ice would be really thin," said Bill Cusick who spotted the man in the lake.

For some reason Bill Cusick had driven up to the lake to check it out on Tuesday. He continued to watch realizing the ice fisherman was on thin ice.

"And I seen the water start coming up around his boots and the next thing I knew, he was up to his neck. So I just called 911 and thank goodness the rangers were there very quickly," Cusick said.

Ranger Sean Benson reeled the angler to safety.

"When I was getting the rope to the gentlemen to get him out i fell through the ice right there and had to crawl on my stomach from that point to him, got a rope on him and we had people on the shore pulled him out of the ice and onto the land, " said Benson

Officials say anglers should never ice fish alone, and the ice Tuesday unsafe only about an inch and a half.

The water temperature potentially deadly.

If hypothermia would have set in at that time he would have lost consciousness and he would have slipped into the water and he would have been gone," Cusick said.

The Good Samaritan who made the call, Crawford 911 dispatch, the park rangers, and Jamestown Fire Department using team work to save a life.