Posted at: 02/21/2013 1:34 PM
Updated at: 02/21/2013 8:10 PM
By: Travis Dill
Two Wisconsin men lost their lives in the icy waters of Lake Superior near Madeline Island on Wednesday night.
Those men were seen leaving Bayfield for the island Wednesday night, and 12 hours later someone called 911 to report that they had not arrived according to DNR officials.
One man was found just south of the island on the edge of open water. Conservation Warden Dave Oginski said the man was not responsive and pronounced dead in Bayfield. Rescue divers found a second rider dead in the water hours later.
“It's a terrible tragedy. We don't want to see anybody go through these circumstances and people need to know that ice is never safe where ever you're at,” Oginski said.
Oginski said the ice road from Bayfield to Madeline Island is open and marked by pine trees, but the men were found by the island's South Channel.
He says ice in the channel is unpredictable because the current there is notorious for causing thin ice and even open water.
“Whether they ventured off course a little bit or what their intentions were I don't know that at this time,” Oginski said.
For now the investigation into the tragic deaths has only left the local community with more questions.
The names of the men are not being released because family members are still being notified.