Searchers Find Body Of Elder Who Fell Through Ice

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 15:23



The body of a 65-year-old elder from La Loche has been pulled from the icy waters of a northern lake.


August MacKenzie was one of two men on a snowmobile that went through the ice on Lloyd Lake on Monday.


Searchers recovered MacKenzie’s body shortly before noon yesterday.


RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Carole Raymond says it’s a dangerous time of year to be on northern lakes — and notes some Mounties helping in the recovery effort yesterday fell through the ice themselves.


A 46-year-old La Loche man who went through the ice with the victim managed to pull himself out and walk several kilometres before help arrived.


He was taken to hospital suffering from hypothermia and frostbite.


Thomas Herman believes he was walking for 12 or 13 hours before he was finally spotted by a passing vehicle.


Herman was on the Cluff Lake road when three people in the vehicle came across him at around 3:30 yesterday morning.


Teddy Clarke, the driver, says they were on their way back to La Loche after dropping off supplies at a camp.


According to Clarke, before they found Herman, they noticed footprints on the road that indicated someone was in trouble.


While taking Herman to the La Loche hospital, he informed them the mishap took place the previous afternoon.


Clarke credits Herman’s background as an outdoorsman for giving him the wits to keep moving.


Clarke adds he and his travelling companions were originally planning to stay at their camp the night in question — but decided at the last minute to head back to La Loche despite the late hour.