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January 17, 2013

Massena man dies after falling through ice

MASSENA — A snowmobiler died after his machine broke through the ice on the Grasse River on Tuesday.

The body of John S. Favreau, 43, was not recovered until about 11 a.m. Wednesday, according to State Police Troop B.

The Massena man had headed out on the frozen surface of the river from the Am Vets Boat Launch near Fregoe Road to go ice fishing at about 3:30 p.m., police said in a statement.

”Approximately 50 yards from shore, the snowmobile broke through the ice, entering the Grasse River with Favreau still on it,” the release said. “The water was approximately 15 feet deep, and the ice thickness varied from 2 to 4 inches in that location.”

State Police divers recovered Favreau’s body; an autopsy at Massena Memorial Hospital was scheduled for later Wednesday.

Numerous local and county fire and rescue agencies, along with the St. Lawrence County Dive team and State Police Dive Team, helped with the investigation.

Officials around the region have urged people to stay off the ice of lakes, rivers and streams, as the recent thaw has thinned it dangerously in many places.

Last weekend, a husband and wife were rescued from Lake Colby in Saranac Lake after their four-wheeler broke through, and another all-terrain vehicle fell through there as well.

Four anglers near the Vermont side of Lake Champlain across from Crown Point fell in after the ice gave way beneath them on Sunday, as did a person who tried to rescue them.

Officials said they were in the water some 20 minutes before regaining dry land.

Email Suzanne Moore:

smoore@pressrepublican.com

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