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Crews rescue duck hunter who fell through ice near Antelope Island

Published: Monday, Dec. 23 2013 12:36 p.m. MST

A man was successfully rescued after falling through ice near Antelope Island Monday, December 23, 2013. This file photo shows the island on April 5, 2012.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

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ANTELOPE ISLAND — Crews rescued a man who fell through the ice near Antelope Island Monday morning.

Three friends were duck hunting when one of them, Davis County resident William Ray Lewis, 20, and his dog Hope fell through the ice, Utah State Parks Lt. Eric Stucki said.

The dog ran out to retrieve a bird that one of the friends shot, when it fell through the ice. Lewis went out to retrieve the dog and fell through the ice as well, said Lewis' father, Bill Lewis.

The dog was able to break the ice and make its way over to Lewis, Stucki said. He was then able to lift Hope out of the water.

The group was 100 yards away from the causeway bridge connecting Antelope Island to the mainland.

Lewis' two friends ran back to the road where they found the park ranger who was on patrol. The ranger called the Davis County Sheriff's Office around 8 a.m. Monday.

The ranger was able to pull him out of the water "back to safety" using a rope and a personal floatation device, according to Stucki. Emergency personnel assessed Lewis' condition on the scene and he was then taken to a local hospital.

Lewis was in the water for five to 10 minutes before the ranger reached him, his father said, and for about 30 minutes before the ranger pulled him out of the water.

Stucki estimated that the water's temperature was around 29 degrees. Bill Lewis said his son's body temperature dropped to 95 degrees.

"He should be quite well. He's just quite hypothermic being in the cold water and then the colder day today that it is," Stucki said.

Officers commended Lewis for continuing to move while in the frigid water.

One thing that worked in Lewis' favor was that he was with friends.

"You take a great risk when you are out by yourself. If there wasn't someone else to help him or to alert the park ranger, this may have been a different story," Poulsen said. "We're grateful. We always like these kind of endings, especially right before Christmas."

Ice conditions in Utah are always changing, Stucki said, because the water is constantly moving. For this reason, those who go out on the ice should use caution and bring ropes and personal floatation devices, he said.

Email: wevans@deseretnews.com, Twitter: whitevs7

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