A 78-year-old man died after falling through the ice on a pond Saturday morning in the 16300 block of Vail Loop Road south of Rainier, according to Thurston County sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Cliff Ziesemer.
A child had been skating on the pond, which was at a private residence, when his grandfather decided to join him, Ziesemer said.
“Apparently (the grandfather) was too heavy and went through the ice,” he said.
The fall was reported at 11:18 a.m. Saturday, according to a Thurston County dispatcher.
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A dive team member was able to get the man out of the water after several minutes, but by then the man was unconscious and not breathing, Ziesemer said.
Thurston County Coroner Gary Warnock said crews were able to briefly resuscitate the man, but he died en route to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia.
Southeast Thurston Fire Authority chief Mark King said the man was pulled from an area of the pond that was about 7-feet deep. Even though temperatures have been below freezing the past few days, King said people should stay off ponds and lakes.
“The ice isn’t thick enough to walk on,” King said. “It hasn’t been cold enough long enough. Ice is not safe. It’s not going to hold you.”