Russell: Stupidity learns no lessons

“Unbelievable hey? The day after,” was the curt comment between dispatcher and Mountie Thursday afternoon as the light faded from the sky.

It’s rare to hear a personal comment over a police scanner.

“Unbelievable hey? The day after,” was the curt comment between dispatcher and Mountie Thursday afternoon as the light faded from the sky.

The dispatch was to send someone to check out a report of people walking out onto the icy surface in front of Turtle Bay, at the north end of Wood Lake.

The “day after” comment was referring to the fact a man had died after falling through the thin ice at the south end of Wood Lake just the day before.

That man probably died very quickly. A surprisingly small hole marked the spot where he went through last Wednesday morning. Whether the cold got him first, or the intake water is yet to be determined, but all that could be seen from the hole oh-so-close to shore were a pair of gloves floating on the surface.

The ice rescue crew from the Lake Country Fire Department tried their best. Dressed top to toe in the kind of gear that would let them survive if they fell through, the men stayed low to distribute their weight as they edged across the crystallized surface. Using sharp ice picks they smashed and chipped holes through the ice following the natural current away from where the man had gone in. Then, over and over, they probed the dark waters with a gaffer hook on a long pole, hoping to catch onto something to pull toward themselves.

Neither the probing from the surface nor the hawk’s eye view from a police helicopter overhead were of use to Wednesday’s drowned man.

His body was recovered by a dive team from Kamloops as the daylight faded from the afternoon sky.

And yet, just 24 hours later, onto the ice they go.

Unbelievable, isn’t it.

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