DNR Warden: 14 snowmobiler deaths this season is 14 too many

By KBJR News 1

DNR Warden: 14 snowmobiler deaths this season is 14 too many

February 21, 2013 Updated Feb 22, 2013 at 2:45 PM CDT

(NNCNOW.com) -- There have been 14 fatalities among snowmobiles throughout the state of Wisconsin this winter - a total the snowmobile safety administration says is 14 too many.

"We'd like to work together, concentrate on being as safe as possible while enjoying what's left of our snowmobile season," Conservation Warden and Snowmobile Safety Administrator Gary Eddy says. “Speed, alcohol and night-time operation are the three most common factors with our fatal accidents.”

Eddy says there were 10 snowmobile fatalities for all of the 2011-12 season, which was nearly non-existent in a large part of the state area due to a lack of snow.

Some parts of Wisconsin are poised to get more snow as storms move into the Midwest for the weekend and the coming week.

The latest two deaths occurred sometime last night or early this morning in Lake Superior.

Ashland-based Warden Supervisor Dave Oginski said the two snowmobilers failed to arrive at Madeline Island after leaving Bayfield.

The bodies were recovered in the South Channel of Lake Superior.

Added to the risk factors for snowmobilers is the seasonal temperature fluctuation, which brings changing ice conditions.

“Ice conditions will begin to deteriorate rapidly,” Eddy says. “Snowmobilers will need to exercise a high degree of caution if operating on late-season ice. The best choice is to stay off the ice altogether.”

Posted to the web by Jenna Vogt