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Hunting Accident File > Safe Fishing?

IN: Angler falls through the ice and dies

Man who fell into pond dies
By Barrett Newkirk, Herald Bulletin Staff Writer

December 20, 2008 10:37 pm

- PENDLETON - Randy Dillon had gone ice fishing dozens of times, often on his backyard pond or at Summit Lake. But on Friday, the ice wasn't strong enough.

Dillon, 50, died at Saint John's Medical Center in Anderson after falling into the frigid water behind his home. Medical personnel told his wife, Gaye, that Dillon was accidentally drowned.

"Every winter, he was ice fishing," she said. "He fished all of his life. His dad did it. We never through this would happen."

Gaye Dillon was out shopping when the accident occurred sometime before 5 p.m.

Neighbors David and Patricia Ballenger saw Randy Dillon in the water. Patricia called 911 while her husband attempted to rescue him.

"He was a great neighbor," Patricia Ballenger said. "He was a good dad and grandpa and a really good guy."

A member of several hunting organizations and the Meadowbrook Golf Course, Randy Dillon had worked at Dillon Pattern Works since high school. Along with his wife, he is survived by two sons, four stepchildren, seven grandchildren, other relatives and his hunting and fishing buddies.

Calling hours are scheduled from 3 to 7 p.m. at Brown-Butz-Diedring Funeral Home, followed by a time for sharing with family and friends. Burial will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Huntsville Cemetery.

Responders from the Pendleton Fire Department pulled Dillon out of the pond 14 minutes after they received the call, Chief Danny Gardner said, but it wasn't known how long he was in the water.

Gardner said he wasn't sure of the water temperature, but said ice on the pond was about two inches thick.

Gardner and Pendleton Fire Chief Mark Farrer first attempted to rescue Dillon while he still was conscious and bobbing on the surface. Then after Dillon went under water and didn't come back up, Cory Hall and Cory Moore of the Pendleton Fire Department pulled him out of the water.

Medics gave Dillon CPR at the accident scene before taking him to the hospital.

Gaye Dillon said her husband was wearing cleated ice fishing boots, insulated overalls and a winter jacket when he fell through the ice.

The time a person can survive in freezing water varies depending on water temperature, the person's size and the person's age, according to Darren Isaacs, a paramedic with the Pendleton Fire Department who was not at the scene Friday.

Colder water makes the body cool more quickly, which can help a person survive longer, and in some documented cases people have been known to survive for up to three hours in extremely cold water, Isaacs said.

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