SEMPRONIUS N.Y. -- New York State Police said an elderly man who fell through the ice on Skaneateles Lake Monday afternoon has died.
Investigators said Alfred Coon, 82, from Homer, passed away after rescuers pulled him from the lake. EMTs and firefighters attempted "life saving measures, but were unsuccessful," according to state police.
They said it happened off North Glen Haven Rd. just before 4 p.m. which runs through Onondaga and Cayuga counties. Crews were stationed at the southern end of the lake in Cayuga County.
Coon was ice fishing out on the lake about 150 yards, according to first responders. He reportedly fell through the ice and did not resurface for more than 20 minutes. Crews had to use a boat to reach him.
Neighbors in the area are mourning the loss of Coon and said this is an unexpected tragedy.
Dillon Bordwell ice fishes on the lake and knows people who knew Coon really well.
Bordwell said with the sudden arrival of milder weather. the ice can quickly become dangerous.
"It just makes me think people need to be cautious about the weather. They really should know where they are going when they are ice fishing and should let people know where they are fishing," Bordwell said.
While Bordwell ice fishes throughout the winter he said there has been situations where he has felt unsafe and had to return to shore.
"Usually I fish more local lakes, smaller lakes for that reason. Just because you don't know whats going to happen," Bordwell said.
"Once they found the location where he was , it was about 20 foot of water. They were able to grab on to him with a hook and put him up on the boat and bring him back to shore," Chief Pat Merical said.
The chief said with a lot of these situations fisherman think it is okay to go out on the ice.
"You really need to look at your ice. The ice needs to be real thick. When you gotta open the water and thin ice like we have had with the warm weather and the winds disturbing the ice you really need to pay attention
to your ice," Merical said.
The investigation is ongoing.