February 4, 2021
WILLOW LAKE, S.D.–A man has drowned while ice fishing on a lake in Clark County.
Sheriff Robert McGraw tells KWAT News Director Mike Tanner that authorities were called to Dry Lake #2, about four miles north of the town of Willow Lake, Wednesday morning on a report of a man who’d gone fishing there Tuesday night, but never returned home.
McGraw says there was a large area of open water on the north end of the lake, where debris was found floating, and that’s where divers concentrated their search.
A remote camera was used to find the man’s snowmobile, and about 6 p.m. Wednesday, the man’s body was recovered.
McGraw says the victim was from the Hitchcock area, and was in his 60’s. His body was taken to the Furness Funeral Home in Clark. He was unsure if an autopsy would be conducted.
The victim’s name has not been released, pending notification of relatives.
McGraw says it appears the man became disoriented in foggy conditions, and drove the snowmobile into open water.
Agencies responding were the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Codington County Search and Rescue, Clark County Emergency Management, Hamlin County Emergency Management and Game Fish and Parks.
This latest incident is the fourth drowning in northeast South Dakota this winter. A 60 year-old man and nine year-old boy drowned when a four-wheeler they were on plunged into open water on Lake Poinsett on January 9th. And the body of 46 year-old Amy Dougherty of Andover was recovered January 29th, some five weeks after she drove into a slough just west of Bristol in whiteout conditions.