Snowmobiles of missing Shoreham and Benson men found in Lake Champlain

ORWELL — State police in Vermont and New York are looking for a couple of Vermont men who went missing after they went snowmobiling on Lake Champlain last Thursday; they have already found their snowmobiles in the lake.

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, 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 as of Monday morning hadn’t located them.

Both men are experienced snowmobilers with knowledge of the lake. Search efforts will likely be suspended until Tuesday morning due to the winter storm conditions. 


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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100