Ronald Parrish Jr, Plover, WI, is an experienced and avid fisherman who frequently fishes the Wolf River and Lake Winnebago in Central Wisconsin. This past weekend was no different than any other; Ronald was going fishing to chase his life’s passion. This trip would be different. One which he would nearly lose his life, and learn the current state of human behavior. Just a note: Ronald and I have met through my web site (myfishingpartner.com) and he contributes occasionally to the weekly fishing report.
January 13, 2013 started on the Petenwell Flowage. A cold snap had entered the area, after a brief January thaw which had occurred earlier in the week. Ronald arrived at about 7:00 am, proceeded to his desired spot on the ice, and dropped a few lines in 18 feet of water. Initially the fish were biting yielding 3 crappie, 2 walleyes, a white bass and a perch.
What happened next is explained by Ronald (In his words) via his Facebook page. “I was out on Petenwell and the strong winds of the past few days opened up a heave and then it refroze last night/today. I wasn’t paying attention the way I should and I thought it was the same glare ice that was in other spots and had 7″ of ice. I heard/saw the ice crack and for some reason I took another step and I went in. I had my shanty strapped to my back and after struggling to get it off I barely had enough energy to try and pull myself out. I tried 2-3 times to get out but I just couldn’t. Had to yell for help and guys who were about 250 yards away heard me and rushed over.”
Several individuals rushed to Ronald’s rescue and pulled him from the freezing water- saving his life. Witnesses estimate Ron was in the water for 8-10 minutes. Had it not for these heroes (who are still unknown), we would be reading Ron’s obituary instead of this article. They took him to their vehicle, gave them their coats, and waited for the ambulance to arrive to take Ron to the hospital. Other bystanders retrieved his shanty and loaded his gear into his vehicle, locked it up and returned the keys to the ambulance driver.
After being released from the hospital later in the day, Ron was very happy to see his wife and daughter again. He spent the rest of the day recovering from his near death experience.
In the next few days Ron sorted through all of his frozen gear and made an amazing discovery. His Hummingbird Ice Flasher (55 Model), a high end electronic device used to help locate fish (value $500), is missing and assumed stolen. “Losing my phone and mp3 player from water damage was one thing but for someone to take my flasher as I get put into an ambulance really makes me feel a certain way,” Ron said. Unfortunately, the unit has yet to resurface, even after pleas on message boards for its return. Ron has filed a police report.
Throughout the event, Ron saw many sides of human nature. He experienced the trauma of a life and death situation, followed by the heroic acts of strangers, then someone taking advantage of an unfortunate circumstance. Hopefully, he can experience someone’s remorse if the expensive Ice Flasher is returned.
Ron will be back onthe ice soon. He now vows to carry ice picks around his neck each time he goes on the water for added security. Even the most seasoned veterans of the outdoors, who know their surroundings, are at risk on the ice. Stay on top Ron! We hope that your Hummingbird ice flasher is returned soon.