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Man Dead After Being Pulled From Ice in Bloomingdale

Resident heard man 'screaming for help' as two fell through ice of Lake Iosco Tuesday.

A Ringwood man was pronounced dead after being submerged under the ice of Lake Iosco for more than 10 minutes Tuesday.

Frank Ferrell, 52, died upon arriving at Chilton Hospital despite life-saving efforts of emergency responders.

Ferrell was one of two men who fell through the ice about 150 yards from shoreline. He was unconscious when rescue volunteers pulled him out of the water, while Theodore Andreniuk, 49, of West Milford, was rescued minutes earlier from the water in a semi-conscious state.

Ferrell's death is currently under investigation by the Bloomingdale Police Department and Regional Medical Examiner's Office.

The men were ice fishing at the time, according to Bloomingdale Police Chief Joseph Borell, when a resident of a nearby home called 911 just after noon and said a person had fallen through the ice. A second 911 call came in three minutes after the first about Ferrell in the lake. Initially, police believed just one person had fallen through the ice. Police said the men had been ice fishing since about 9 a.m.

"You could hear someone screaming for help out on the lake," Borell said of the emergency responders' first impression of the scene.

One of the men was also seen waving his hands and yelling for help, Det. Steven Caputo said in a press release.

Bloomingdale Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mike Hudson said Andreniuk's hands could be seen from the water as the rescue volunteers pulled him from the ice. Volunteer firefighters Michael D'Amato, Mike Wanklin Jr., Steve Shattls and Chris Neuberger put on ice rescue suits to assist.

"We were able to get him out very quickly," Hudson said.

Andreniuk was transported by Tri-Boro First Aid Squad to a medevac helicopter that landed at the Walter T. Bergen School. He was flown to Hackensack University Medical Center. As of 5 p.m., he was listed in critical but stable condition.

Borell said no one else was fishing on the lake at the time and Hudson said the men appeared to have walked out on to the ice as opposed to boating. It was not known whether they were invited to fish by the nearby resident.

"We're still investigating as to why they were out on the lake," Borell said.

Borell said the lake was not entirely frozen.

"There were portions of the lake that were ice-covered and there were other portions of the lake that were water," he said.

He also said he would not recommend anyone enter the ice of the lakes or ponds in the borough, particularly with warmer weather recently, as it is not safe.

"I certainly would not recommend being on any lakes, any ice, at this time," he said.

Borell said in his 26 years on the force he does not recall a person falling through ice and needing rescue in Bloomingdale. One week ago, the Bloomingdale Council decided to table enacting prohibition of ice activities, such as ice fishing, on public borough ponds. The prohibition is intended to ensure safety as the ponds, Oakwood Lake and Bogue Pond, are not monitored. Consideration of the prohibition ordinance was inspired by the deaths of two Mount Olive teenagers who fell through the ice of Budd Lake.

The prohibition being considered, however, would only apply to public bodies of water and not private lakes in the borough, such as Lake Iosco.

The Bloomingdale police and fire departments, New Jersey State Police, the Passaic County Sheriff's Rescue Squad and the Pompton Lakes Fire Department were among the agencies responding to the scene.

Check back with Patch for more details.

mike wanklin February 27, 2013 at 01:48 PM
Credit to Firefighters Jason Hammaker and Ed Ball for also assisting with the rescues.
Sally Fane February 27, 2013 at 01:57 PM
This is, no doubt, a tragedy. I realize Ice Fishermen love their sport but you need to factor in safety, I hope, if nothing else, this sends a clear message to err on the side of caution. But let's be thankful for men like Wanklin, Neuberger and D'Amato, (if I'm not mistaken, at least 2nd generation volunteers) and all the other men and women on the volunteer fire and ambulance departments; They put themselves at risk to save others. Thank you and keep safe.
Gerry Iannuzzi February 27, 2013 at 02:36 PM
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/ice/thickness.html I have been playing pond hockey with my children on Oakwood for several years. Ice safety has always been our number 1 priority. The reason we go there is because the water is so shallow, I believe we would be able to handle any situation that may arise. I hate to see an incident like this happen. Minnesota puts out a safety guide that can help save lives. Many posts have stressed the importance of ice safety education. This cannot be over emphasized.
Carl February 27, 2013 at 03:22 PM
Frist and most important, My sympathy to the Ferrell family and his friends and co-worker. This is lose can not be put into words. My prays and thoughts are with the family and friends. I would like to say that the Bloomingdale FD did an amazing job. This could have been a lot worse if not for them. This was a huge team effort with the help of the Bloomingdale PD, Tri-boro Frist Aid, Chitlon EMS teams, Pompton Lakes FD, the Passaic CountySheriff, Hackensack Air One, the police dispatchers, the Emergency Room staff at both Hospital and the residence on the lake. I have been in emergency services for 25 years on the EMS side and the FD side. This is one of the few calls that one can see that all the training that the men and women of these services have taken paid off. The residents of the commuinties sshould be very proud of these men and women. They should never forget.
Fred February 27, 2013 at 07:57 PM
My sympathies to the family of the man who passed away. Living in Kinnelon, I have seen an increase of ice fishermen over the years at the Butler Reservoir-sometimes there are lone men who are out on the ice. I often wonder what would happen if one of those men fell in, there is no one around who may witness it or to call the police. I know you need a license to fish there but some kind of tracking device and definitely education is needed.

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