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Popular ice fisherman broke through ice and died in Minn Lake


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Anyone on Mille Lacs has fished with or heard of Dickie Gadbois, years ago the ice guy at Liberty Beach, launch boat owner/operator from various points on the east side of the lake, ice fishing business operator in a couple locations, most recently out of MSA/Flagship.

He was out checking the ice this morning, having walked out, then returned, got a Suzuki Samuri sized vehicle, lighter than most side by side 4 wheelers and went back out. Sadly, he broke through, and, although he was wearing flotation, and was pulled from the water, apparently did not survive the air transport.

 
 
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RIP Mr Gadbois. The few times that I went ice fishing as a teenager I worried about the ice breaking the whole time.

 

"I wish to arrive at my death late, in love and a little drunk."

 

Atticus 

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10 hours ago, throttleplate said:

He was out checking the ice this morning, having walked out, then returned, got a Suzuki Samuri sized vehicle, lighter than most side by side 4 wheelers and went back out.


That is incorrect. He was in a full size 1/2 ton truck heading to Shaws Reef and went through 6 inches of ice. Safe thickness for a truck of that size is 13-17 inches. Not a very smart move that turned out to be fatal. I can assure you there will be more of this in the near future. One cold snap isn’t near enough to start driving vehicles on the ice.

 

BREAKING
Isle man found dead after truck entered Mille Lacs Lake
Chloe Smith Jan 12, 2024 Updated 21 min ago 0
1 min to read
Mille lacs lake
The location on Mille Lacs Lake where a truck was found on the morning of Friday, Jan. 12. A man from Isle was found deceased near the location where the truck entered the ice.

A man from Isle was found dead in Mille Lacs Lake the morning of Friday, Jan. 12.

The man was found after a 911 call was placed to the Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office about a truck and a body found in the lake near MSA Flagship Inn at 5357 Whistle Rd. in rural Isle.

According to a report from the sheriff’s office, the call was received at approximately 10:52 a.m. that reported a truck that had gone through the ice on the lake and a body could be seen nearby.

The 911 caller told Mille Lacs County Dispatch that he had located an area on the ice where a truck and gone through. The report from the sheriff’s office states that the 911 called had located the body of an adult male floating in the water and the caller was able to recover him and bring him back to shore. The subject found floating was wearing a flotation device. 

The subject was later identified as Richard Francis Gadbois, 80, of Isle. Gadbois was transported to the Mille Lacs Health System Hospital where he was later pronounced deceased, the sheriff’s office reported.

The Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by The Isle Fire Department and Mille Lacs Health System EMS.

The report from the sheriff’s office went on to provide a reminder to the public about safety and ice conditions on local lakes

“This is another reminder to the public that ice conditions are not safe for driving cars and trucks on right now,” the report stated. “The ice was approximately six inches thick where this tragic incident took place. The recommended guideline for clear ice is 13-17 inches for a truck. The ice on many lakes across the state is not good clear ice due to rains and warm temperatures.”

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RIP to Mr. Gadbois.

Unfortunately, things like this happen before the ice is thick enough to handle the weight of 4 wheelers/trucks/ice fishing houses. At the local lake here it has happened at the start of the season (ice is not thick/stable enough) and the end of the season (ice has gotten thin/weak).

This year I witnessed a 4 wheeler go right under, thankfully the guy was only in about 5 feet of water and there were people nearby who had a rope and got a rope to him and pulled him out (the 4 wheeler was not so lucky).

I agree with @gimruis .... this might happen more frequently now as the temps have dropped yet it has snowed as well (the snow insulates the ice and does not allow it to freeze as deep as it would if there was no snow on top of it)......and there are people who do not take that into account and assume that the ice is thicker/stronger than it is. With the low water temps/wind/air temp your survival time window, if you fall thru the ice, is short.

Be safe out there people ! 

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2 minutes ago, TnRiver46 said:

80 yrs old driving a truck onto the ice. Now that’s bold! 

Probably something he'd done every winter for 60 years.

 

I just hope that such a 'high profile' incident will give warning to everyone else...but unfortunately, there's always idiots out there.

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Crazy - this happens too often. And I am guilty as well having been out fishing on 2 1/2- 3 inches of ice. 2 years ago I fell through about 3 inches of ice, luckily it was shallow and I was able to get out but holy cow did that suck bad.

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11 hours ago, MN Fisher said:

Probably something he'd done every winter for 60 years.

There is some truth to that.  However, we've never had such a mild winter in that time span either with 50 degrees and rain on Christmas.  Lakes near me in the greater metro area were still open water less than a week ago.

 

People often have this mindset "oh it's January, I can drive out there easy now" because that's been going on for most of their lives.  In a normal winter, there should be well over a foot of good ice out there, not 6 inches...or less...or none.

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What a tragedy for anyone let alone a elderly ice fisherman who knew better but forgot for a moment everything he knew about ice safety. Please look out for your older friends, we need your help!

Tom 

 

 

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16 hours ago, WRB said:

What a tragedy for anyone let alone a elderly ice fisherman who knew better but forgot for a moment everything he knew about ice safety. Please look out for your older friends, we need your help!

Tom 

 

 

 

Tom is the best. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Sad  Just like the Ice Road Truckers falling thru ice.   You MUST  MUST know where ALL warm water springs are located. And avoid them.

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