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Ice Fishing Led To Teens' Deaths, Prosecutor Says

Budd Lake teens Nicholas Cianciotto III and Clyde Schimanski III fell into the frigid lake when the ice gave way at their fishing location.

The recovery of two teens who fell into Budd Lake while ice fishing on Monday was hampered by the freezing water and short daylight hours, Acting Morris County Prosecutor Frederick Knapp said.

“Due to the freezing temperature of the water each separate, two diver team could only remain in the frigid water for approximately 25 minutes to conduct each search pattern,” Knapp said of the search for Nicholas Cianciotto III and Clyde Schimanski III.

According to Knapp, the tragedy struck shortly after 6:00 p.m. on Monday evening when both teens were lost into the frigid lake when the ice gave way at their fishing location.

“A local resident near Sand Shore Road heard their cries and attempted to locate the boys. As the ice was cracking under his feet, the resident was forced to retreat for fear of losing his own life,” Knapp said. “Mount Olive Township Fire, Police and EMS services personnel immediately raced to the scene and valiantly attempted to rescue the boys unsuccessfully.”

Knapp said that local rescue efforts, aided by New Jersey State Police air and ground personnel were forced to cease rescue efforts as temperatures and darkness made recovery unsafe.

“On Tuesday morning, the New Jersey State Police Marine Bureau and TEAMS units brought their divers and a special air boat to the boys’ last known location. After tediously breaking a path through the packed ice from shore, the New Jersey State Police divers were able to reach the location where it was believed both boys had been ice fishing,” Knapp said. “Using SONAR and other specialized equipment the New Jersey State Police divers located and recovered Nick within a few hours.”

With the families of the teenagers waiting on the shore, Knapp said the recovery efforts intensified and the divers spent the rest of the day making numerous additional dives attempting to locate Clyde before having to call off their search until Wednesday. Knapp said after seven additional hours and eight dives on Wednesday, Clyde was recovered.

“My special thanks must go to Colonel Rick Fuentes and the New Jersey State Police Marine Bureau for taking the lead when specialized recovery equipment and personnel were needed,” Knapp said. “Their tireless efforts in this tragic event have been outstanding.  There would not have been a recovery without their efforts.”

Knapp said that the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Coordinators have been assisting both families throughout this ordeal.

“We all share their grief as does the entire Mount Olive and Morris County Community,” Knapp said.

LV Taxpayer January 12, 2013 at 11:46 PM
What I'm saying is that if the township allows them to enter via their property, there's the belief (by some) that it must be safe. If there are places on the lake that are not safe, the town shouldn't let them enter the ice by way of township property. Get it? Then there's the legal issue of responsibility if the township lets them on...
Sam Slobo January 12, 2013 at 11:55 PM
Were you ever young LV Taxpayer ?? Or did you ALWAYS guide yourself by the same common sense you now have ??? I guess Mount Olive, and EVERY other town, should patrol every square inch of township property in order to prevent these nightmares from occurring. Thats fiscally responsible. God bless these families in their darkest days.
jazzman January 13, 2013 at 12:23 AM
so if theres a sign pounded into the ground by some underworked dpw guy then of course by all means let your children run wild,your not getting,NOW REMEMBER forget all your preconceptions about these signs... let me explain there is NO presumtion of totally perfect ice anyway on this planet,thus you will get NO SIGHS forget the signs,... thats only for very very small small bodies of water with more control, you really need to actually get on the ice in order to understand ice not just sit back a wait for the signs,... like trying to teach someone to drive a car without actually get in a car...Hookerman is right on target people are just to stupid to even reconize....my experience 35yrs of lake ice ,thats skating,including bonfires and snowmobiles night and daytime driving
LVMom January 13, 2013 at 12:40 AM
rather then 'rant' about who did what and who is at fault... .. two boys lost their lives, lets focus on recovery and trying to come up with a way to help prevent this in the future - in honor of those two boys.
LV Taxpayer January 13, 2013 at 01:16 AM
@Slobo. Sam, why must you go into attack mode on all of these discussions? Are you capable of responding like an adult? If not, go please outside and play. The point is: If the township has a lake in it's domain, then the township should ONLY allow access to that lake thru IT'S property if they can determine the ENTIRE lake is safe. If they can't make that determination, then the "Do not enter" signs go up. And anyone seen on the lake near the township entry points should be removed by police. Granted, you can't keep everyone from entering the lake from every location, but you can send the message that it's not safe, and dissallow entry from township property. Maybe that would've made the difference that day...
Kenny Fisher January 13, 2013 at 01:29 AM
Each time I think Hookerman can't make himself look any worse, he does. It's quite simply amazing. First off, the statement, "It takes hours to succumb to hypothermia," is completely wrong. A human can succumb to hypothermia very quickly, it is completely dependent on the temp of the water. The colder the water, the faster it sets in. The largest travesty here is that two young lives were lost. How they were lost and why is inconsequential now. Shame on nyone who is critiquing or criticizing these two teens. There is no need for that... they are dead. As far as dealing with the brothel king known as Hookerman, apparentely from other posts I have seen he gets real sensitive when people speak about autism, yet he seems to feel it's OK to criticize the dead.
Hookerman January 13, 2013 at 12:58 PM
Sad... two guys who had nothing better to do on a Saturday evening but put down a complete a complete stranger on an internet forum. Both of you desperately need to get a life.
Brian Sniatkowski January 13, 2013 at 01:45 PM
The problem with that is ice can never be guaranteed safe. The ice could be thick enough to support a car over 90 percent of a lake's surface, but there still could be sections around submerged springs, where water enters or leaves, or newly frozen ares that might not support a person. Ice can be 8 inches thick in one spot and barely two inches just a few steps away. Also ice conditions can change from day to day, and sometimes within the same day. Ice can be safe in the morning and unsafe by the afternoon. To do what you suggest would require a team of people to test every lake, every day. Not practical. What we need is common sense. If in doubt, don't go out. If you do plan on going on the ice, carry a whistle, ice hand spikes and be familiar with self rescue techniques.
Kenny Fisher January 13, 2013 at 02:30 PM
^^^^ Everyone please not that the above is what someone who has been proven wrong, made to look like a fool, or has been defeated writes when they can not bring themselves to just say, "I am/was wrong, sorry." They go for the "I feel pity for you because you are on here at this time of day, etc..." line. Admit defeat and move on.
Liberty January 13, 2013 at 03:58 PM
Signs are impractical and invite liability. They shouldn't have been out there.
stacie bohr January 13, 2013 at 04:26 PM
Agreed! These rants are ridiculous...especially under the circumstances. Figuring out a method of prevention for future occurrence is wise. Beating the hell out of eachother's opinions or takes on the situation is disgusting and an insult to these boys and their families. God Bless the boys and may they be at peace in heaven.
Brian Sniatkowski January 13, 2013 at 04:56 PM
LV, the problem is that no lake ice can be guaranteed entirely safe. There are too many variables. If the township assumes the responsibility of testing the ice and they declare it safe, many people will assume the ice is indeed safe. That can be downright dangerous. And consider the liability if someone falls through after the ice has been pronounced safe by the township
kim m January 13, 2013 at 05:59 PM
... MAYBE ; town should just KEEP EVERYONE OFF THE LAKE FOR THE WINTER MONTHS , unless its the ice boats.!!! swiming is ONLY FOR SUMMER!!!!
Brian Sniatkowski January 13, 2013 at 06:34 PM
And when people drown while swimming in the summer, then what do we do?
chris January 13, 2013 at 07:48 PM
I live in Manalapan and one day i passed by a lake on a very unsual warm day in Febuary and noticed agroup of boys playing ice hockey in water up to their ankles on top of ice i called the police and since then thin ice warnigs have been posted when needed-As far as the kids I still shake my head 0 common sense and they weren't that young.
chris January 14, 2013 at 01:05 AM
hey if your kid wants to go out on a lake and their parents let them who's fault is that?The parents need to access a situation before anyone does thats why your a parent
chris January 14, 2013 at 01:13 AM
When todays parents figure out the kids today have zero common sense-then hopefully we wont have tragic accidents like this-Getting rid of cell phones for new drivers would be a good step.
chris January 14, 2013 at 01:33 AM
alright well put a pitbulls all around the lake to keep the kids off the water-Where's the parents? It;s called commen sense,The same parents grew up in an era when you got hurt or beat up you licked your wounds.Mommy or Daddy didn't run you to the hospital for a pin prick on your finger.I Don't know what happened with the parents out there today-Damn disgrace being passed along to more idiots and dont even think i;m wrong
chris January 14, 2013 at 01:41 AM
i would not skate on ice if it was only rockefeller center or the garden-then your safe
chris January 14, 2013 at 01:47 AM
flags are put out for riptides but you get the same idiots drowning god weeds out dumb
Moira January 14, 2013 at 01:53 AM
I like your advice and am glad you were willing to give it. Of course, the whole State grieves with these families. And because this is so tragic, and because I have boys the same age, I'm going to show them what you've posted.
chris January 14, 2013 at 01:59 AM
I have one question?Do the other parents of the community realize their kids were not being supervised? Thats a big problem today
Brian Sniatkowski January 14, 2013 at 01:30 PM
Anybody who ventures on ice should watch this. It could save your life https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gOW8ZaYqHA
LV Taxpayer January 14, 2013 at 01:43 PM
Thank you Stacie! I was wondering why no one was commenting on Chris' unsensitive remarks. I flagged them as "inappropriate" (along with Slobo's "JO" accusation) but I guess the moderator disagrees?
stacie bohr January 14, 2013 at 04:52 PM
Fascinating video, Brian. Things I would never think of. Thank you for sharing it.
stacie bohr January 14, 2013 at 05:18 PM
Curious as to why my post addressing Chris was pulled? Jason, Russ???
Judy Caruso January 14, 2013 at 05:49 PM
I hope the parents and loved ones do not read these comments
Brick rez January 14, 2013 at 05:57 PM
So sad.. I grew up in that area, part of our youth was going ice skating, as down here teens go swimming, Its part of the culture, the lake is part of the recreation in that area... sadly lives are lost in the ocean every year, the something happens up there. While the lakes & ocean are so fun & enjoyable you have to understand & respect nature.... So terrible sad for the family having teenage sons myself, & worry every time they go out...cant imagine what the parents & families are going threw Hugs to you from the jerseyshore!!
Hookerman January 14, 2013 at 06:39 PM
Thanks Moira! Another suggestion I read on one of the threads is for parents to buy their kids who want to go out on the ice inflatable life vests. They are entirely comfortable to wear, but will inflate automatically when they’re exposed to water. That’s the best advice I’ve heard. Having ropes and ladders available on the shoreline is also excellent advice of course.
Peter Richards January 29, 2013 at 07:44 PM
Lakes are too big for the State or the town to put out signs. Especially with how the economy is today. It is up to you to determine your own fate. Closing Lake traffic is an overreaction and downright ridiculous. It is plain and simple. CHECK THE ICE! No one is going to check it for you. Just the other day I checked Lake Hopatcong's ice. You have a person with a cell phone and a weighted rope stand on shore while you check the ice. The person who checks the ice should have safety picks, a spud bar, and an ice ruler. You check the shoreline ice, and then you stop every five yards and check it again. ONLY FISH/SKATE/WHATEVER IN THE AREA THAT YOU HAVE CHECKED. Just because it is five inches here does not mean it is five inches there. By the way- if the ice is LESS THAN 4-5 INCHES, STAY OFF THE ICE!

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