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Crosby man dies after snowmobile breaks through ice

Member of the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office Dive and Rescue Team take turns Monday going into Serpent Lake in Crosby in search of a missing snowmobiler who went through the ice. The body of a 34-year-old Crosby man was found. Submitted photo

CROSBY, Minn.—A 34-year-old north-central Minnesota man died Monday after the snowmobile he was operating fell through the ice on Serpent Lake in Crosby.

Authorities received a call about 5:30 a.m. after a Crosby police officer walked out of the police station and heard someone screaming for help, Sgt. D.J. Downie of the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office's Boat and Water Division said. The officer looked across the lake, saw something shimmering and thought someone could be in water. Crosby Fire Chief Jay DeCent was called and he also could hear the screaming for help.

Downie said the officer and the fire chief couldn't see anything, so they went to a different part of the lake. Downie said they no longer could hear the screams, but a snowmobile helmet was found on the ice. Snowmobile tracks also were found indicating the machine went through the water.

A team of 10 Crow Wing County Dive and Rescue team members responded on scene "fairly quick," Downie said. Due to the cold temperatures and how the ice was freezing over quickly after it was broken through, divers took turns searching for the Crosby man, spending about 20 minutes in the water.

The body of the man was found about 1:15 p.m. in about 45 feet of water, about 30 yards from shore. His name was not released Monday.

Downie said there was about 5-6 inches of ice on parts of the lake, but there also was open water Sunday.