Ice fisherman drowns in Lake Michigan in Upper Peninsula

Sunset over Lake Michigan on July 7, 2018. (Meredith Bruckner)

GARDEN, Mich. – A 64-year-old man drowned in a Lake Michigan bay when his off-road vehicle hit open water, authorities said.

Edward Lester of Garden was at Big Bay De Noc, off Delta County, for ice fishing Thursday.

Ice in the area was 4 to 5 inches thick but "recent high winds caused the crack to open,” said Lt. Eugene “Skip” Hagy of the Department of Natural Resources.

“Ice is never 100% safe. Pressure cracks are very hazardous and can occur very fast, particularly on large bodies of water,” Hagy said.

Authorities were contacted when Lester’s wife said he had not returned from a routine fishing trip.

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