A man has died after falling through the ice at a local lake in High River on Saturday afternoon, (Nov. 20).

First responders were called to Emerson lake to rescue the man around 1:30 p.m.

Sergeant Jason Cann, Operations NCO with High River RCMP says they were called to assist the Fire Department, retrieving the body of a man who fell through the ice on Emerson Lake on Saturday, November 20.

"On Saturday we were dispatched to assist with Fire around 1:53 p.m. regarding a man who had fallen into Emerson Lake."

Cann says the death is being considered a tragic accident.

"He was about a 70-year-old male and we believe he was fairly experienced on ice surfaces. He was with a friend at the time who had watched him walk out onto the lake, and warned him it wasn't safe when he fell in after walking about 30-50 feet onto the ice."

High River's Fire Department received the call at 1:30 and was able to respond within four minutes of the call being placed. 

Upon arrival, the Fire Department located the area the man went under with assistance from the witness. 

He was rescued and then transported by ambulance to the High River Hospital in critical - life-threatening condition where he later passed away. 

High River Fire Chief Cody Zebedee says one firefighter was sent to the hospital for precautionary measures as well. 

"Calls like this are certainly hard on our personnel, we did have to send one of our firefighters to get checked out for some overexertion and to ensure he was okay. He was released from the hospital a very short time later and returned to work." 

Zebedee is urging residents to stay off icy surfaces and says this is an exceptionally risky time of year. 

"There is no such thing as safe ice. We don't know what's happening under the ice, there could be a spring or moving water, and somewhere you might have five feet of ice, only twelve inches away you could have very thin ice." He says "This time of year is a risky time because we haven't had a lot of cold water until now, most of that lake is still open so we are urging people to stay off the ice, and storm retention ponds." 

He says the Fire Department is sending their condolences to the man's family 


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