FLAMING GORGE — Six fishermen were rescued Friday after the sheet of ice they were fishing on broke off and drifted away from the bank.
Around 6:30 a.m. Friday, six anglers arrived on the ice and began fishing. By 9 a.m. they noticed their fishing lines were moving and realized they were drifting away from shore.
Shortly after, the Sweetwater County Sheriff's Office was alerted to a group of fishermen who were stranded on an ice floe in Flaming Gorge that had drifted apart from the west bank.
A U.S. Forest Service officer had spotted the anglers — Bryan Cowhan, John Henley, both 36, of Brighton, Colo., Brian Gross, 35, of Westminster, Colo., Dean Hunhoff, 48, and Kenton Taylor, 35, both of Cheyenne, Wyo., and William Torres, 34, of Thornton, Colo. — and instructed them to remain away from the edges of the floe.
Deputies met with the Forest Service officer, Didi Erramouspe, and rescue teams trained in ice rescue. The teams were able to rescue the fishermen without injury.
“A drifting floe can break up at any time and your chances of surviving for long in water that cold don’t amount to much,” said Sweetwater County Sheriff Rich Haskell. “There are any number of things that can go wrong during this kind of operation, and we’re all very glad it turned out the way it did. I have enormous respect for the rescuers — everyone involved has my admiration and my thanks.”