Father; son drown after falling through ice in Highland

Father, son drown after falling through ice in Highland

A father and his 4-year-old son both died after falling through thin ice this morning while fishing on a Highland Township lake.

David Michael Lyons, 30, and Jackson Lyons, both of Highland Township, were about 10 feet from the shore on Alderman Lake at 10:37 a.m. when they fell through the ice, authorities said.

Rescuers, including divers, pulled them out in 15 minutes. But the two had been submerged in 8-12 feet of frigid water. They were pronounced dead about 1:45 p.m.

Both were wearing snowmobile suits, which become heavier in water, said Richard Cole, assistant fire chief with Highland Township. Neither one was wearing a life preserver.

Rescuers used rope to get to the scene from the boat ramp about 350 feet away.

In a news release about the incident, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said: “This is a horrific reminder that we should always hold safety first when we undertake water-related activities. No ice is safe … especially due to the mild weather we have experienced this winter.”

Cole said any time people are on the lake ice, they should be wearing personal flotation devices.

“Even two weeks ago, when we had colder weather, there was still open water on a lot of our lakes and ponds,” he said. “It’s just not safe to go out on there, but people still do it.”

Temperatures in metro Detroit on Monday reached into the mid-40s. With temperatures similarly above freezing over the weekend, multiple vehicles were pulled from Lake St. Clair after falling through ice. Six were pulled out Saturday, and no injuries were immediately reported.