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Ice fishing derby canceled after 3 people die falling through ice in Vermont

Lake Champlain Cleanup
Posted at 1:54 PM, Feb 13, 2023

The deaths of three men forced officials in Vermont to cancel the annual Islands Ice Fishing Derby.

Anglers were asked to get off the ice on Saturday, following the deaths of two individuals that morning.

According to Vermont State Police, the men were on Lake Champlain when the enclosed utility task vehicle they were operating fell through the ice. John Fleury, 71, was pulled from the ice and brought to shore, police said. He was rushed to the University of Vermont Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

A diver located the other individual, 88-year-old Wayne Fleury, inside the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

On Thursday, police said 62-year-old Wayne Alexander fell through the ice on Lake Champlain. Rescue crews found him after a relative reported that he didn't return from a fishing trip. He was also pronounced dead at the University of Vermont Medical Center.

The National Weather Service warned on Saturday that the area has experienced "well above normal temperatures" over the last two months, causing ice thickness on lakes and ponds to be inconsistent.