The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

March 11, 2013

Grandson, friend rescue man who falls through ice

EAGLEVILLE —  After more than 50 years of ice fishing, Melvin Beebe thought he had the sport down pat.

That is until Friday, when while ice fishing on a lake in Austinburg Township, the ice suddenly gave way from under him.

“I have ice fished every year of my life since I was in my 20s and I never had such a close call,” said Beebe, 77. “I am happy to be here.”

Friday afternoon’s fishing trip started just like many others. Beebe and his grandson, Colton Hinkle, and Hinkle’s friend, Cory Prine, both of Jefferson, gathered at the Beebe farm on Jefferson-Eagleville Road. They loaded up their gear and headed out for a fun day of ice fishing.

It was a normal day, Hinkle said, until about 4 p.m. when he went to drill another hole.

“I heard Grandpa yelling, ‘Help! Help! Help!’” he said. “I ran over and saw he had fallen into about 13 feet of water.”

To Hinkle’s horror, Prine fell through the ice trying to help Beebe.

“But he didn’t go under and he got out; he rolled himself out,” Hinkle said. “Then I tried to get Grandpa out and I fell in and went under. I thought I was done.”

As Hinkle went down, he remembered the most important rule his grandfather had taught him — don’t panic. Somehow, Hinkle rolled out of the hole, but his grandfather was still in water and time was running out.

“It seemed like forever, but it was probably closer to five minutes,” Hinkle said.

As for calling for help, their cell phones were in their pockets and wet.

Prine had a plan — he laid flat on his stomach and grabbed Beebe’s hands. He directed Hinkle to get behind him and pull on his boots as hard as possible. With a few strong pulls, they yanked Beebe out of the water, put him on their sled and got him in the van. Then they drove straight to their grandfather’s home in Eagleville.

Text Only
Local News
Canoe Race and Ashtabula Easter Events
Good Friday Cross Walks and Easter Egg Hunts
Spring Comes Alive
Ashtabula Spring Cleaning
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
Saturday Fun in Ashtabula County March 22, 2014
American Red Cross Ashtabula County Heroes Breakfast
Rotary Club Dodge Ball Tournament
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
End of year weather extremes
Christmas 2013
Harpersfield Barn Fire
Route 11 Rescue Plymouth Township
Ashtabula Fire
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
Grumpy Cat Not Impressed at "Idol" Is Shaquille O'Neal the World's Best Ex-Athlete? Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 2 BASE Jumpers Set World Record Screaming 2-year-old gets psyched at Penguins game Pineda: Put pine tar because he didn't want to hit anyone Beyonce on Her Biggest Influence Michael Strahan's First Day on "GMA" Clerk catches on fire after man throws Molotov Cocktail into Brooklyn store Amazon's Deal With HBO Leapfrogs Streaming Rivals Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Georgetown police officer filmed tripping students Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Lupita Nyong'o Named People's 'Most Beautiful' Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India