Ice fisherman: "You could lose you life very easy"

Posted at 6:09 PM, Jan 15, 2018

Al Raro is a pro when it comes to ice fishing. He's been doing it for the past 45 years.

"When you look out and there's open water, at least a half mile to a mile, you wonder how you are going to get back," Raro said.

That's exactly what happened on Sunday when six people who went ice fishing had to be rescued by the Erie County Sheriff's Helicopter off the shore from the Sturgeon Point Marina in Evans. 

No one was injured.

Raro says this happens when there's open water on an East wind and the ice shifts so it opens up.

"We know they enjoy ice fishing, but we always say there is no safe ice," Captain Kevin Caffery, Erie County Sheriff's Office, said. "You just never know, so you have to use a lot of caution."

The Erie County Sheriff's Office says a rescue happens every year.

Raro says the ice should be 3-4 inches thick. 

He makes sure he is prepared with the proper tools and safety equipment, including boots that can withstand -20 degrees and snow survival suits.

Raro also says he always has a compass on hand and he says to make sure to let someone know where you'll be and what time you are expected to be done.