I’m starting to dread looking at my Amish news feed because it seems every other story lately is some sort of tragedy. Sorry to say that this news out of Marquette County, Wisconsin falls into that unfortunate category. Amish often make use of frozen ponds and lakes for ice skating. In this case it ended with an accident and one child losing his or her life. From the Portage Daily Register:

TOWN OF SPRINGFIELD – A child drowned after falling through the ice on Twin Lake Sunday according to the Marquette County Sheriff’s Office.

According to a press release, the sheriff’s office received a call at 12:30 p.m. reporting five Amish children ice skating on the lake had fallen through the ice. Four of the children escaped safely and one did not, Marquette County Sheriff Joe Konrath said.

The incident is not considered suspicious but remains under investigation by the Marquette County Sheriff’s Office and Marquette County Coroner.

This is either the Kingston or Wautoma settlement, or possibly one other small settlement in Marquette County. Otherwise the story is very thin and there’s not much more to the report than that.

Photo: Melnee Benfield

Rule number one is to not venture onto any ice that’s not an appropriate thickness. It’s early in the winter, so perhaps the lake was not yet frozen enough for skating and these poor children may have simply been out too early.

In more northern communities with access to frozen water, skating and ice hockey are a popular form of winter recreation for Amish children and youth, and they are no doubt eager to get on the ice especially over winter holidays.

I only once walked out onto a natural frozen body of water and in this case it was a frozen sea that I was certain was thick enough (preceded by weeks of subzero temperatures). I shudder to think what it would be like to fall through ice into bone frigid water. Thankfully four of the children escaped or this would have been an even larger tragedy for this community. Condolences to this poor child’s family.

You might also like:

Get the Amish in your inbox

    Question on the Amish? Get answers to 300+ questions in 41 categories at the Amish FAQ.