Man who fell through thin ice earlier this month has died

His snowmobile fell through the ice on March 5.
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A man who fell through the ice on an Anoka County lake earlier this month has died.

Tony Lee Bates, 31, died on March 17, nearly two weeks after he fell through thin ice on Coon Lake in East Bethel, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office said in a weekend news release.

Bates died from "complications of hypothermia and submersion in water," the medical examiner says, noting his manner of death is considered an accident.

According to media reports at the time, Bates was with another person snowmobiling on Coon Lake on March 5 when their snowmobiles broke through the ice. They got the snowmobiles out, but then the snowmobiles broke through the ice again, the Star Tribune said.

The men were using a boat to try to get the snowmobiles out of the water when they fell in the lake, KSTP reported. They were in the water for about 20 minutes, and one of the men was submerged for about 10 minutes before they were rescued, reports said.

The other man involved in the incident hasn't been identified.

Officials warned allwinteraboutunsafe ice conditions due to the abnormally warm weather we had. Lisa Dugan, with the Minnesota DNR, told GoMN that there were two watercraft fatalities and two ice-related drownings this winter, including Bates' death.

In the winter of 2015-16, no ice-related fatalities were reported, according to the Minnesota DNR.

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