Three people have died after snowmobiles fell through ice in two separate incidents near Midland, Ont., on Sunday, OPP say.
In one of the incidents, police found two snowmobile riders dead in the waters of Sturgeon Bay and returned them to shore shortly after 11 a.m. Monday.
The two snowmobilers were initially reported missing Sunday night, after a Victoria Harbour, Ont., resident also reported hearing a cry for help from Sturgeon Bay earlier that evening.
After the Victoria Harbour resident reported the call for help, emergency crews searched the area but were unable to find anyone due to “treacherous” conditions, which included wide open water that was surrounded by broken ice.
On Monday evening, police identified the two deceased snowmobilers as Jereld Bremner, 49, and Donald Bremner, 19, both from Coldwater, Ont.
In the other incident, a man was pronounced dead at Georgian Bay General Hospital after he drove into open water while travelling on ice on Georgian Bay Sunday, OPP say.
On Sunday afternoon, officers say several Midland Point residents reported seeing a lone snowmobiler drive into open water and struggling to swim to safety.
Shortly afterward, emergency crews found the snowmobiler about 50 metres from shore, in open water with ice chunks, before he was sent to the hospital and died. Police have since identified the man as William Fournier, 40, from Midland.
The investigations into both snowmobiling incidents remain ongoing.
OPP Const. Iryna Nebogatova said this winter has been mild, which makes riding snowmobiles on ice “extremely dangerous and unpredictable.”
“To avoid tragedies such as these ones, we urge everyone to be extremely cautious and remember that no ice is safe ice,” she said.