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USA. A fishing competition was canceled, three anglers drowned under the ice on Lake Champlain in Vermont

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The annual Island Ice Fishind Derby has been canceled, organizers said on Sunday. The decision was made after three anglers drowned in a few days on Lake Champlain in Vermont, under which the ice collapsed. During the competition, which has more than 40 years of tradition, fish were traditionally caught from under the ice covering the lake.

The first victim, identified as 62-year-old Wayne Alexander, died on Thursday, February 9, local police said. The tragedy occurred in a state park near Grand Isle on Lake Champlain. The man’s relatives alerted the services because he went fishing and did not return home. Alexander’s car was later found at the entrance to the park, and his body was fished out of the water.

On Saturday, in another part of the lake, a car fell into the water, under which the ice collapsed. Two brothers, 71-year-old John Fleury and 88-year-old Wayne Fleury, were in the car, both of whom were also anglers, according to CNN. Their lives could not be saved.

Fishing competition cancelled

On February 12, Gilbert Gagner, a member of the organizing committee of the Islands Ice Fishing Derby, informed CNN that this year’s edition of the competition was canceled due to the tragedy of the last few days. He noted that although the victims were not related to the contest, the organizers had no other choice. This year’s edition would be the 43rd in the history of the competition. It was supposed to take place just last weekend, on February 11-12.

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Gagner, who runs a fishing tackle rental shop on Lake Champlain, added that he had to temporarily close his business due to the high temperatures. – I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s madness,’ he said, commenting on the thinner than in the past ice sheet covering this lake in winter.

SEE ALSO: They stuffed fish with lead to win a fishing competition. “One of the most disgusting acts”

Safe ice thickness

The local branch of the National Weather Service (NWS) said on social media that in the lakeside town of Burlington, this year’s January was the fifth warmest since 1884, when records began. In nearby Montpelier, the average temperature recorded last month was the highest ever measured there during this period.

In the case of both cities, the average temperature was about minus 1.5 degrees Celsius, taking into account both the temperature during the day and at night. Meanwhile, the minimum thickness of the ice that can be safely climbed is estimated at about 10 centimeters. Such a layer is formed only after many days in which the temperature continuously – also during the day – remains below -10 degrees Celsius.

SEE ALSO: “Panic, disorientation, breathing problems.” What to do when the ice breaks under someone

CNN, Facebook/NWS Burlington, tvn24.pl

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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