Ice fishing tournament cancelled following these tragic events and unsafe conditions
An ice fishing tournament in northern Vermont was cancelled after three men fell through the ice and died in two separate incidents due to unsafe conditions brought on by warmer weather.
The 43rd Annual Islands Ice Fishing Derby was supposed to be held on Lake Champlain the weekend of February 11-12, 2023, but was called off hours before it began in response to a request from the Grand Isle County Sheriff's Office, according to an Islands Ice Fishing Derby Facebook post. "All ice anglers are asked to get off the ice," the post read.
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According to CBS News, the tournament was cancelled after the second of two deadly incidents where ice fishermen fell through the ice on Lake Champlain and were either pronounced dead at the scene or later died from their injuries.
On Thursday, Wayne Alexander, 62, fell through the ice while fishing on a section of the lake in Grand Isle. When Alexander did not return home when expected, a relative searched for him and found his truck parked near a fishing port. Emergency crews later discovered him in the water, wearing a flotation suit. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
"This incident appears to be an accident and is not considered suspicious at this time," said state police.
Two additional men, brothers John Fleury, 71, and Wayne Fleury, 88, died in a similar ice fishing incident early on Saturday morning. The Fleury siblings fell through the ice while fishing on another section of Lake Champlain in South Hero. According to authorities, the men were inside of an enclosed UTV that crashed through the lake's surface.
Wayne Fleury's was found inside the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. Emergency workers pulled John Fleury from the water, but he later died at a local hospital.