Moraine State Park officials have identified a man who died during an ice fishing outing Saturday at the Butler County park.
Moraine Operations Manager Dan Bickel said Kenneth L. Andres, 73, fell into the water in Big Run Bay while ice fishing alone.
Mr. Bickel said Mr. Andres had parked his vehicle near the Old Route 422 lodge and had walked a mile and a half across the lake to his fishing spot.
"He was fishing on about four inches of ice. Generally, that's about the minimum amount you need to fish when you have one person," Mr. Bickel said.
He said he believes that Mr. Andres "ran into trouble" when the ice became weakened due to a combination of climbing temperatures and Mr. Andres' use of multiple fishing holes in relatively close proximity to each other.
Mr. Bickel said a passerby on Route 422 spotted something orange in the water and called emergency responders around 5 p.m. What he had spotted was Mr. Andres in his orange vest-style life-jacket.
State park Ranger Rick Carson was dispatched and, using a special pontoon-style sled, reached Mr. Andres and pulled him from the water. Though rescuscitation efforts were made, Mr. Andres was unresponsive and was pronounced dead at Butler Memorial Hospital.
"We don't know how long he had been in the water," Mr. Bickel said.
The park official said ice fishermen engage in the sport at their own risk and need to exercise caution before embarking on an outing.
"He did a lot of things right. He was wearing a life-jacket. He had a throw bag and some ice picks. We advise all those things. But, the mistake he made was that he was fishing by himself, which is never recommended," Mr. Bickel said.
He said the ice at Lake Arthur this season has been "very variable. It ranges from six down to two inches."
Karen Kane: email@example.com or at 724-772-9180. First Published March 9, 2013 5:45 PM