Skip to main content

Man who fell through thin ice earlier this month has died

His snowmobile fell through the ice on March 5.

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.

Next Up

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves' winning streak snapped at five games

The Wolves' bid for their longest winning streak since 2014 came up short.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

Teen arrested over fatal shooting of 5-year-old boy in Brooklyn Park

Police say the teen was filming a social media video while handling a gun.

Joe Biden

President Biden coming to Minnesota to promote Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Tuesday's trip follows passage of the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal.

Kirill Kaprizov

Kaprizov gets into the holiday spirit to rout Jets

Kirill Kaprizov's four points led the Wild to a 7-1 victory.

Kirk Cousins

Coller: Cure to Vikings' disrupted season lies in an explosive passing game

The Vikings go to San Francisco knowing that a win would be a huge boost to their playoff hopes.

unsplash football helmet ground

Judge upholds star QBs suspension for state championship game

Sam Backer, of Chatfield Senior High, won't be allowed to play in Friday's title game.

Screen Shot 2021-11-25 at 7.53.37 AM

Another 5,000 lbs. of goldfish removed from Carver County lakes

It all likely stemmed from people dumping their pets into local waters a few years ago.

Rosaleia Shelton

Appeal to find 19-year-old missing from Bloomington

The teen left her home on Monday afternoon.

hospital, emergency room

Deaths of twin fetuses after woman was shot ruled a double homicide

The woman was shot in the abdomen in mid-September.


Sheriff warns 'No fish is worth the risk' after people fell through ice on northern MN lakes

Three people fell through the ice in two separate incidents Monday.

These warm temps are great – unless you want to drive on the ice

Several cars fell through the ice over the weekend.

Another truck and fish house falls through thin ice

Ice is never 100 percent safe, and rescues keep happening in Minnesota.

2 dogs rescued after breaking through thin ice

The dogs are safe and back home now.

Thin ice

Hennepin sheriff issues thin ice warning amid warmer temps

This comes after two siblings fell through ice in Maple Grove.

Bambi falls through thin ice, White Bear Lake comes to the rescue

The doe went through the ice on Priebe Lake Sunday morning.