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Ice fisherman rescued after falling into Mantua Reservoir

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Posted at 9:52 AM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 19:49:49-05

MANTUA, Utah — A man and his dog were rescued Monday after falling through the ice after attempting to ice fish at Mantua Reservoir in Box Elder County.

The Mantua Police Department responded to the area where the 66-year-old Plain City man was reported to be drowning. Upon their arrival, officials saw the man and dog struggling in the water.

"He was just fighting for his life," said Mantua Police Chief Michael Castro. "He was stating that he was tired and didn't want to pass."

Full video of the rescue:

Full video: Man rescued from icy water at Mantua Reservoir

Castro and a Utah Highway Patrol trooper made their way to the break in the ice and threw a rope to the man and pulled him over to the edge of the ice.

Castro said the man had been in the water for roughly 15 minutes by the time he and the trooper arrived.

"By that time, [we were] worrying about him becoming more hypothermic and possibly going under," Castro added.

To make matters worse, Castro said the man was attached to his ice fishing sled by a chest harness, making it almost impossible to pull him from the icy waters.

"I crawled up to him, started taking that apart, the ice broke out from under me," Castro said.

Luckily, Castro was able to swim back to the ice shelf. With the help of the UHP trooper and Brigham City Fire officials, they were able to pull the man and his dog out of the water.

"We did what we had to do," said Castro. "It wasn't a lot of time to sit and think about, should we or should we not, it was not an option."

Castro said the rescue wouldn't have been possible without the help of the assisting agencies.

"I'm so thankful that everybody was able to work together," he said. "Department of Natural Resources was here as well, and everybody worked well together."

The man was transported to the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery. The dog was brought to Brigham City animal control center where it is in good condition.

"Thank God it was a great outcome to something that could've been very tragic," Castro said.