One Upstate New York man was saved, but his younger brother perished after the two fell through thin ice while fishing on a lake in Otsego County on Saturday afternoon, according to DEC Forest Rangers. The two men were from Richfield Springs, in Otsego County.

Authorities say a woman walking her dog near Basswood Pond in the Town of Burlington, between Richfield Springs and Cooperstown, alerted NYS Forest Ranger Nate Laymon that two people had fallen through the ice. According to a press release from the DEC, Laymon was about one-minute away from the lake.


The DEC says, Ranger Laymon saw one of the men treading water, but lost sight of the other. He said the ice was approximately one-inch thick, which is definitely unsafe for fishing. The Ranger entered the ice, crawled toward the 42-year-old from Richfield Springs, and used a throw bag to help the subject out of the water. The subject grabbed the rope and Ranger Layman pulled him onto a sled.

Lamon was able to pull his sled to shore at about 2:55 p.m., where he was met by members of the Edmeston Fire Department, who used their truck to start the drying and warming process to help the subject, who was suffering from hypothermia.

Video by DEC Drone of the rescue attempt:

Authorities say, Ranger Laymon then headed back to the ice to search for the second man, the first subject’s brother. At 3:05 p.m., Laymon located the 41-year-old from Richfield Springs in seven to eight feet of water. New York State Police, Otsego County Emergency Services, and Edmeston, Fly Creek, Schuyler Lake, and West Edmeston volunteer fire departments helped pull Ranger Laymon and the submerged man out of the water and onto shore. At 3:23 p.m., the subject was transferred to EMTs who began CPR. Both subjects were taken to the hospital. The first was treated and released. The second subject was declared deceased by the hospital later that night. The DEC has not released the names of the two men.  

See video of Ranger Nate Laymon explaining the rescue.

  Click here for information on ice fishing safety

Related Story 

The night wasn't over for Ranger Nate Laymon. He came upon two additional accidents on Saturday. Read submission below from the DEC

Hamlet of Schuyler Lake
Otsego County
Motor Vehicle Accident: On Jan. 6 at 7:19 p.m., while returning to headquarters after an ice rescue on Basswood Pond, Forest Rangers France and Laymon came upon a car that was upside down and leaning on a guardrail on County Route 22. An off-duty firefighter was attempting to make contact with the driver. Ranger France opened the door and found the 61-year-old from Richfield Springs trying to unbuckle herself. Rangers helped extricate the subject and took her to their patrol vehicle. The subject had no signs of injury. Schuyler Lake Fire Department and Richfield Springs EMS assisted with traffic control. New York State Police conducted an accident report. Rangers were clear of the scene at 8:10 p.m.

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