Two Graton men are recovering from frostbite after the shack in which they were ice fishing fell through the ice of Otter Tail Lake in Minnesota last week.
Enjoying the warmest March in 90 years of record-keeping hasn't kept the population of Fergus Falls from enjoying Minnesota's most popular winter sport, and Graton residents Lance and Pierce Boyle thought it might be a good time to visit their elderly Uncle Erskine Carlstadt and "see how Minnesotans recreate," as Pierce remarked from the Fergus Falls hospital bed which the brothers share while recovering from frostbite and hypothermia.
Uncle Erskine took them out to the Lake towing his mobile fishing shack behind his Studebaker truck ("it's got the original red paint," says Pierce) and they got a good fire going in the shack's stove although the air temperature reached a record high for that date of 63 degrees.
Unaccustomed to the somewhat-confining space, Lance Boyle burned his inner thigh on the stove causing him to leap to his feet, and displace the stove's hot chimney. It fell to the ice, coals spilled over the floor and before any of the three men could react, the weakened and heated ice gave way sending the three men and parts of the shack into Lake Otter Tail's frigid water.
The Studebaker has the bottoms of its tires submerged but hasn't sunk yet, and a committee has been formed to figure out how best to get it off the ice.
"Next year," says Lance from his bed, "we're going fishing with Uncle Wayne in Tallahassee."