Posted 23 December 2009 - 06:51 PM
I don't know if you guys heard or not, but two brothers drowned at Big Lake a couple days ago. Big Lake is located just north of McArthur, which is just East of Burney, which is 1 hr east of Redding.Apparently one of the brothers threw a rock out on the ice and the dog went to fetch it, then broke through.This is a reminder to be careful, that even something as little as this could get people killed.We hunt that area at times and if it's to bad, we just call it a day, no need to push and loose a dog or anyone else over it.Here is the updated story:Two brothers who drowned in a tragic attempt to rescue a dog from an icy lake Saturday night - and a third who tried to save them - were more than siblings. They were best friends, family members said Tuesday."They loved each other very much," their mother, Susan Smith of Browns Valley, said Tuesday."More than anything we want the true spirit of Christmas to be recognized," the family said in a statement provided to the Record Searchlight on Tuesday. "Jesus came to Earth as a helpless babe (to) give his life for others, just as these heroic brothers did."Weakened by exposure to frigid water at Big Lake near McArthur, Andrew Smith labored through a 911 call Saturday evening in an effort to bring help to his brothers."... The dog went into the water, fell through the ice and the dog ... my brothers went after and they fell in .... I went after them and I fell in," said the Oroville-area man.His recorded cell phone call to the California Highway Patrol was obtained by KOVR Channel 13 in Sacramento.His brothers - Noel Bernard Smith, 39, of Burney and Nathan Neimiah Smith, 32, of Citrus Heights - were trapped under about 3 inches of ice in 40-degree water, said Chief Pat Oilar of the McArthur Volunteer Fire Department.About three miles away, the department's volunteer firefighters gathered around a fire engine awaiting the start of the annual Fall River Valley Christmas Light Parade, Oilar said. He said the crew made it to Big Lake in a matter of minutes.There they found a hypothermic Andrew Smith, who is in his 30s, and began the search for his brothers by smashing through the ice using attic poles and roof racks - tools designed to bust ventilation holes in the roofs of burning homes. A duck hunter who happened to be at the Rat Farm boat launch on Big Lake transported the firefighters by boat as they hammered the ice."We got the boat high centered a couple of times," Oilar said.They found the men - the first in 20 to 25 minutes and the second in about 50 minutes - about 20 feet from shore in water close to 16 feet deep, Oilar said.Medics were unable to resuscitate Noel and Nathan Smith while Andrew Smith was taken by ambulance to Mayers Memorial Hospital in Fall River Mills, suffering from hypothermia but alive. He was no longer listed as a patient there as of Tuesday evening.Andrew "Andy" Smith was listed as a surviving member of the brothers' family in a statement given Tuesday by the Smith family. Also listed were Noel Smith's wife, Lisa; Noel Smith's daughter, Brooke, 15; parents George and Susan Smith, as well as siblings Sam Smith and Rachel Smith-Betz.The Chesapeake Bay retriever the brothers were attempting to save also survived, Oilar said. He said the family found the dog near the lake the day after the drownings.