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Allegan County deputies who rescued snowmobiler say quick planning was crucial in lifesaving efforts

Ice Rescue at Miner Lake
Posted at 4:57 PM, Jan 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-21 17:40:34-05

ALLEGAN COUNTY, Mich. — A miraculous rescue took place in Allegan County after a man on a snowmobile broke through the ice.

Two sheriff's deputies risked their lives to save him, and it was all captured on camera.

Allegan County Sheriff's Office deputies used their quick thinking, grabbing a small boat from a home down the lake and brought it with them on the ice to help with the rescue.

"Someone had taken it out of the water for the winter, and I’m not even sure who said there was a boat available," said Allegan County Sheriff's Office Deputy Cory Harris.

From the minute the 911 call went into Allegan County dispatch regarding the snowmobiler in the water, law enforcement response was rapid.

Deputies arrived on scene within five or six minutes with a tentative plan ready to go.

"A big part of it is when you’re on the way to the call, you know, 'What do I need to have? What resources are in route? What is already there? What do I have in my car?' You know, 'Who else is responding with me and what do they have toolwise that we can use when we get there?'" said Deputy Harris.

"I think that is the most critical part, putting a plan together and getting it done rapidly because the clock was ticking. I don’t think we had a whole long time. We had good people here that put a good plan together and put it into motion," said Allegan County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Cory Hunt.

Deputies rescue snowmobiler who went through ice in Allegan County

Upon arrival to Miner Lake, Sergeant Hunt and Deputy Harris determined life jackets and throw ropes from their cruisers, along with the boat, were the first and best options available in a life-threatening situation.

"We took the boat with us. Our idea behind taking the boat was, number one, if we fell through the ice, we would have something there to help us, but then number two, if we were able to get this individual out of the water, we had a way to transport him to shore," said Sergeant Hunt.

The deputies said they stayed around 30 yards away from the open water knowing the ice would pull them closer as they pulled the snowmobiler in.

"When we got him out, he was obviously very happy. He did his part in getting into the boat, and once we got him back here to shore, he helped get himself out. He was a tough fellow. He did a really good job," said Sergeant Hunt.

The Allegan County Sheriff's Office does want to remind anyone who is using the ice for winter activities to ensure they're using common sense.

Make sure to check the ice before heading out and bring proper equipment along with you in case of an emergency.

FOX 17 was also told the man who was rescued is doing well and is now at home after being hospitalized.

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