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Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette

Fisherman drowns after falling through ice

A 50-year-old New Haven man is believed to have drowned Tuesday night after he fell through the ice while fishing on a private pond in the 1100 block of Stellhorn Road.

Rescue crews from New Haven-Adams Township Fire Department and the Fort Wayne Fire Department responded to the report of a missing ice fisherman around 9:40 p.m.

According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, rescuers recovered the body of Mark W. Pusey just after 10 p.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the DNR.

Fire trucks from the two agencies lined the small private road leading back to the pond, and a Samaritan helicopter landed nearby on the overpass spanning I-469.

The Allen County Coroner's Office will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

On the state's website, the DNR warns ice fishermen against older ice, and notes that even thick ice can become "rotten" after rain. Temperatures in the Fort Wayne area topped off in the low-40s on both Sunday and Monday, with light rain on Saturday.

The DNR urges extreme caution when venturing out on frozen lakes and ponds, recommending a minimum of 4 inches of clear ice to support the weight of a person.

No one should venture out on the ice alone, and should always wear a personal floatation device when on or around the water, according to the DNR.

rgreen@jg.net

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