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Two snowmobilers down in Lake Champlain; one body recovered

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Posted on February 16, 2017 |
By Addison Independent



ORWELL — State police in Vermont and New York on Wednesday recovered the body of a man in Lake Champlain that could be one of two Vermont men who went missing after their snowmobiles plunged into Lake Champlain last Thursday.

The body of the man was being taken to the New York State Medical Examiner in Albany for positive identification, Vermont State Police reported early Wednesday evening.

Jonathan Ryan, 32, of Shoreham and Brandon Barrett, 23, of Benson were reported missing on Thursday, Feb. 9. Friends of the pair found their truck and trailer parked at Benson Landing, where Vermont State Police said it was evident the two men rode onto the lake with separate snowmobiles and travelled north during the late afternoon or early evening that day.

Police report that Ryan and Barrett were en route to a restaurant in Ticonderoga, N.Y.

Friends followed the tracks to the area off Chipman Point in Orwell, Vt., and Putnam Station, N.Y.; the friends didn’t dare go farther because the ice appeared to be so unsafe.

A group of state police from both sides of the lake searched the area. After finding snowmobiles and articles of clothing belonging to the two men on Sunday morning, police determined that the pair went through the ice on the New York side of the lake

The joint search team used sonar equipment and scuba divers in their quest to find Ryan and Barrett, but suspended the search late Sunday through Monday because of winter storm conditions          .

Both men are experienced snowmobilers with knowledge of the lake. Search efforts were due to continue on Thursday morning in an effort to find the other man. 

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