Sledder goes through the ice on Georgian Bay
Published Thursday, January 10, 2019 5:22PM EST
“Hi eyes were greyish-blue, he was soaking wet, and he was delirious because he was just mumbling and trembling like a leaf.”
Fred and Mildred Stewart went looking around their home in Midland when they heard strange noises and found a man in need of serious help.
“We brought him in, stripped him down, got the wet clothes off him,” said Fred. “Then we covered him up with several blankets and phoned 911.”
The 34-year-old Penetanguishene man was rushed to a Midland hospital where he was treated for hypothermia and later released, lucky to be alive.
According to police, the man was traveling to Honey Harbour across the bay when he drove his snowmobile into open water near Present Island.
Despite days of mild weather and repeated warnings to stay off the ice, Constable David Hobson is left shaking his head in disbelief.
“It’s upsetting for myself,” said the officer. “I have been a resident here for 30-plus years. You would think people would have a better thought process before going out on this type of ice.”
Police say the man's floatation suit ultimately helped him swim for his life. And luckily he arrived at the Stewart’s house, who were ready to help.
“If we hadn’t been home he wouldn’t have made it,” sighs Fred.
The Stewart’s say this is the third time a snowmobiler has arrived on their doorstep after going through the ice. Unfortunately, they say that on a fourth occasion the sledder never made it to their door. Instead, police recovered his body.