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Sheriff closes Big Cormorant Lake accesses after man breaks through ice

A Moorhead man fell through the ice on Big Cormorant Lake Monday evening, after ignoring a deputy's warning not to venture back out to his friend's rented pickup truck, which was partially submerged after breaking through the ice earlier.

Mark Alan Brossart of Moorhead was driving a rented 2012 Chevrolet pickup, with passenger Jason James Cihak.

Brossart called the Becker County Sheriff's Department to report that he had driven out onto the ice of Big Cormorant Lake (located southwest of Detroit Lakes) and that the front end of the pickup truck had broken through the ice and was partially submerged.

After the dispatcher urged them to get out of the truck, they safely walked the 100-plus yards to the public access located off County Road 5, as emergency personnel were responding to the scene.

Brossart told a deputy that he had driven across the same area earlier without any problems.

While emergency personnel were on the scene and a deputy was photographing the incident, Cihak (the passenger) returned to the area.

He ignored the deputy's warning and went out to the area of the pickup truck, according to the sheriff's department.

Cihak then broke through the ice and dropped into water that was 8-12 feet deep. He was able to get back onto stable ice with the help of the deputy. Cihak was treated by a St. Mary's EMS crew for submersion up to his chest.

With the changing conditions of the ice and the development of ice heaves and fissures on Cormorant Lake, the sheriff's office has temporarily closed the public accesses on Big Cormorant Lake, and it continues to advise no motor vehicle traffic on all area lakes.

Assisting in the rescue were fire and rescue teams from Lake Park, the Becker County Dive team, St. Mary's EMS and deputies.

"Once again (this incident) shows the massive amount of resources required as people continue not to acknowledge these warnings and endanger themselves," said Sheriff Tim Gordon