RCMP say a 61-year-old man is recovering after falling through ice on a lake near La Ronge Monday afternoon and having to be rescued by helicopter.

Mounties say they initially received a call around 2:30 p.m. that two men had potentially gone missing on Nemeiben Lake, about 25 kilometres northwest of La Ronge.

Police say the two men had been traveling by airboat to a cabin on the lake when it broke down.

They attempted to retrieve the airboat with a snowmobile but it broke through the ice.

RCMP spokesperson Corporal Rob King said officers then received a second call.

“Then in responding to that call, we got another call that someone had seen a male walking across the ice, out in the middle of the lake a few kilometres offshore, they were watching them with binoculars and suddenly they looked away, went to look back, and the male was gone so they thought that person had fallen through the ice.”

It then took emergency responders about two hours to secure a private helicopter to rescue the man.

King said because of the spring thaw conditions, the public needs to use extreme caution around all bodies of water.

“The ice is extremely unpredictable this time of year. Even though they had something such as an airboat, which should technically be able to go overland and ice and water, it’s still very dangerous out on the lake. Until the lake is open and free from ice, it’s really dangerous to be out there.”

(PHOTO: Nemeiben Lake. Photo courtesy of Nemeiben Lake Canoe Bible Camp Facebook page.) 

With files from Sam Campling.