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Recovery Operation Underway for Second Fisherman Believed Drowned in Frozen Morris County Reservoir


By: Richard L. Smith   

Morris County officials announced a recovery operation underway at Split Rock Reservoir.

Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll said on December 31, at 1:59 p.m., a 911 call was received by Butler Police Department dispatch from family members who reported two missing ice fishermen.

The caller said that on Friday, December 30, a 76-year-old male from Passaic and a 64-year-old male from Clifton traveled to Kinnelon to ice fishing at Split Rock Reservoir.

Prosecutor Carroll said the following morning, the two males were not heard from and were reported missing.

Kinnelon Police Department responded and met family members at Split Rock Reservoir, where the two males were believed to have last been seen.

According to Prosecutor Carroll, their personal belongings were observed on the shoreline and two holes were observed in the ice approximately 100 yards from shore.

One male was recovered deceased by ice rescue teams.

The second male was not recovered at the time of this press release Prosecutor Carroll said. 

The search was discontinued that night due to weather and darkness. Diving teams will resume the search for the second ice fisherman on the morning of January 1.

UPDATE: Second man pulled from the reservoir. 

The Morris County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation, Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, Kinnelon Fire Department, Bloomingdale Fire Department, Montville Fire Department, Boonton Township Fire Department, Parsippany Rescue and Recovery Unit, and Tri-Boro First Aid Squad.