SPENCER, Ind. (Jan. 19, 2015)– Preliminary autopsy results indicate two teenagers drowned after they fell through ice.
Clark “Edward” Shoemaker, 17, and Dominic Arthur, 13, were with family members on Sunday afternoon near a rock quarry. The teenagers became separated from their family, who were there to ice fish near the 2400 block of Ramona Road in Owen County, north of Spencer.
Indiana Conservation Officers continue to investigate the case, but they believe this was a tragic accident. Various agencies responded on Sunday, including Indiana conservation divers.
“In this particular situation, it was difficult to get the equipment down…get down there in a timely manner. We did have a lot of help from the other agencies involved, getting us down there,” Indiana Conservation Officer Max Winchell said.
Winchell said Shoemaker and Arthur were found 15 feet from each other; they were underwater for an hour and a half.
“I’m just think(ing) about the family and the friends and the community that these boys were involved with and I can’t image what they’re going through,” Winchell said.
Winchell said the ice was a little more than two and a half inches thick where the two teenagers were standing. Officials caution Hoosiers to be careful. They said if you are walking on ice, it is better if it is at least four inches thick and preferably clear.
Winchell said Hoosiers should puncture holes regularly to check the thickness of the ice when they are on it. Authorities said people need to practice safety when they are ice fishing.
Winchell said no one was carrying safety equipment on Sunday. Indiana conservation officers recommend that people have with them life jackets, ice picks, and rope.
“We encourage (people) to be involved in outdoor sports, but there are safety precautions and knowledge that goes into that,” Winchell said.
If you would like more ice fishing safety tips, click here.