Search Suspended for Second Snowmobiler Through St. Croix Ice Saturday

Updated: 02/17/2013 6:17 PM KSTP.com By: Kaitlin Stevens

Pine County authorities say the the search for a snowmobiler they believe broke through the ice and was swept down the St. Croix River has been suspended.

The sheriff's office says it got a 911 call just after 6:30 p.m. Saturday that a snowmobiler had broken through the ice on a remote part of the river. Two other snowmobilers told authorities they were riding on the frozen river in the dark when the victim hit a large patch of open water. He was thrown from his machine and disappeared.

Authorities believe he may have been swept downstream and under the ice pack, the news release said. Responders found a partially submerged snowmobile on the edge of a large open area of turbulent water, but no sign of the victim.
    
It was too dangerous for responders to enter the water, but they searched on foot, by snowmobile and helicopter Saturday night. The responders included deputies from the Pine and Burnett County, Wis., sheriff's departments and personnel from the Pine City fire department and National Park Service.
    
The search resumed Sunday morning.
    
The victim's name was withheld pending notification of relatives.

This was the second snowmobile through the ice incident on the St. Croix and one of two snowmobile accidents in Pine County on Saturday.

Saturday morning, authorities say a 22-year-old went through the ice near Stillwater. He was transported to Regions Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The Pine County Sheriff's Office says another snowmobiler, on Pokegama Lake in Pine County, struck a partially submerged island and was thrown from his snowmobile Saturday night. The victim was found with life threatening injuries about 1000 feet from shore on the frozen lake.

That victim was transported to a hospital in Mora where an air ambulance was waiting. The name and condition of that victim is being withheld.

The Associated Press Contributed to this Report