Two Men Rescued After Falling Through Ice on the Range

Dan Romano
December 11, 2017 07:40 PM

Two people were rescued after falling through the ice on St. Mary's Lake near Eveleth.  

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First responders were dispatched to the scene in Fayal Township, south of Eveleth, shortly before 1:00 p.m. after a neighbor, Dan Prout, spotted two people holding on to the edge of the ice about 100 yards from the shoreline. 

"I just happened to shut my snowblower off and I heard something in the distance," said Prout.

According to the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office, the pair had been traveling on a snowmobile and pulling a portable ice house and related fishing gear, when they broke through the ice, and they may have been in the water for 30 to 45 minutes.

"When I showed up by the lake there, I could see them out there and there's nothing I could do," said Prout.

The men, identified as 39-year-old Paul Ollila and 36-year-old Travis McDonald, are both from Iron. 

First responders say both men were taken to Essentia Virginia Regional Medical Center for treatment for hypothermia.

Emergency personnel say the ice was only about an inch thick where the men fell through.

Two Men Rescued


Dan Romano

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