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Ice Fisherman drowns on Flaming Gorge

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Posted at 9:01 PM, Jan 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-20 23:01:22-05

ROCK SPRINGS, Wyoming — A Green River man drowned and nearly froze after he went through the ice on Flaming Gorge Monday.

The Sweetwater County Sheriff and the County Coroner issued a statement saying the body of John M. Henderson, 61, was recovered around 11:15 a.m. the next day.

Emergency responders from the Sweetwater Dive Team and the Green River Fire Department Ice Rescue Team participated in the operation.

Officials said two men from Green River were around the west bank of Flaming Gorge, in the Lost Dog area, attempting to retrieve a four-wheeler that had broken through the ice.

The two men reportedly told deputies they were using a chain saw to break through the ice, and when they shut it off, they heard Henderson calling for help.

They said he had been fishing alone, and then they saw Henderson go through the ice and water. The men unsuccessfully tried to reach him with a rope, then made another attempt using a canoe from their vehicle.

Then they hiked to a spot where they could get cell phone reception and contacted county authorities.

Members of Sweetwater’s all-volunteer Dive Team found Henderson’s body approximately 38 feet under water.

The County Sheriff’s office said it does not suspect foul play, and attributes Henderson’s death to drowning and hypothermia.