Brothers die after ATV falls through ice on fishing trip

A hole for ice-fishing about 20 cm wide is seen at midday on the frozen Bothnia Sea, on December 28, 2016 in Vaasa, Western Finland. / AFP / OLIVIER MORIN (Photo credit should read OLIVIER MORIN/AFP via Getty Images)

Two brothers lost their lives after their all-terrain vehicle fell through the ice while on a fishing trip, authorities said.

Vermont State Police identified the victims as John Fleury, 71, and his brother, Wayne Fleury, 88.

Police said the two ice fishermen fell through the ice on Saturday on Lake Champlain in South Hero. First responders said their enclosed side-by-side UTV was operating on Keeler Bay when the vehicle broke through the ice.

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Wayne was found inside the vehicle and pronounced dead on the scene.  John was pulled from the water but later died at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington.

An autopsy report showed Wayne died from accidental drowning. An autopsy is still pending on John.

Meanwhile, authorities are asking people to stay off Lake Champlain while warmer-than-usual temperatures persist, which could lead to ice loss rather than ice gain.

"Ice conditions on Lake Champlain are not currently safe for recreation due to the past week’s warm weather," Christopher Herrick, Commissioner of the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department told WMTW. "Do not venture onto the ice on Lake Champlain. On inland waterbodies, exercise caution: check the ice as you go, and leave vehicles on shore."

This story was reported from Los Angeles.