MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Crews have recovered the bodies of two men who went missing after crashing through the ice on their snowmobiles on Lake Charlotte Saturday night.

The two men were found by divers on Sunday afternoon.

Authorities were initially called to the lake on a report that an ATV had gone into the water on Saturday night. They say a man, who’d witnessed the snowmobiles go in, then went out on his ATV to see if he could help. The ATV also went into the water, but the man was able to get out.

Sgt. Troy Wachter of the Wright County Sheriff’s Department said you can see the open water near the east side of the lake.

Prior to this incident, he said he would not have advised anyone to be on the lake, let alone a heavy machine. He said the ice is clearly weak with the warm temperatures of late.

WCCO’s Adam Carter Interviews Sheriff Joe Hagerty

Wright County Sheriff Joe Hagerty says it was evident the men and the snowmobiles went into the water — and very unlikely during the search that they would’ve made it out alive.

“While out there, we found some gloves, boots and a hat floating in the open water,” he said.

Friends and school leaders in Rockford identified the victims as Adam Patnode and Brad Skafte.

Comments (39)
  1. HopeTheymade it says:

    Must have panicked when they hit open water, if they would have just hit the gas about half throttle they would have easily made it across, Snowmobiles can travel across water at a decent speed for a solid distance, but having gone thru ice before I know sometimes 1 can panic when they see hit open water.

  2. B.C says:

    Think about their families and have some respect.

    1. DMC says:

      Why, they didn’t

      1. Gina (Hanover) says:

        Your a real piece of work, DMC! LOVE to hear your ideas regarding “God”!

  3. MaybeHeDID says:

    “A deputy who responded found that a 66-year-old Buffalo man drove his ATV onto the lake after seeing what he thought was a snowmobile go through the ice. His vehicle broke through while he was searching, and a neighbor helped the man to safety”


    1. Thks4nothingCCO says:

      I guess thats what I get for reading wcco board, A total lack of information, nowhere does it state here the man tried to help but it sounds as if he did.

      1. SSGT (Ret.) says:

        Re-read the story. Bottom paragraph. .

        1. StillWinning says:

          Breaking news: Stories get updated people, sorry to break the obvious to the mentally impaired.

      2. Sarah Johnson says:

        That man, Lowell johnson, was my father, he was willing to risk his life and he did, in attempt to try and save those men, if it wasn’t for Gail King, neither of them would have gone out and tried to save these young men. Call me biased, but Gail and my dad are heroes to many people around our area and people have shown it in great abundance.

        1. Grandma Skittles says:

          Thank you to them… My daughter is married to Adam Patnode’s uncle. So I am very proud of the men who tried so hard to save them. Thank you

  4. Maja says:

    If you had read other news coverage about this, you would know that a 66 year old DID go out after them, on an ATV, and he broke through the ice as well and had to be rescued. He survived, but risked his life to find them. Don’t judge people when you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  5. e says:

    Actually they showed the guy who called on the news and he was crying saying he went right out on his ATV into the water to search, he said he wouldn’t have been able to live with himself if he didn’t…so maybe you shouldn’t go around acting like a jerk when you don’t know the whole story.

    1. sarah johnson says:

      thank you, that was my dad who was so emotional on the tv. him and gail tried their hardest to save them.

  6. BK says:

    One of these boys is my boyfriend’s cousin. Please have some respect and decency.

    1. josie says:

      Okay BK, I sure do not see any disrespectful comments here. HopeTheymadeit was clearly respectful. Read before you write. I too, hope they make it.

      1. BK says:

        I wasn’t saying there were any disrespectful comments. Just saying because there are a LOT of negative people that comment on these news stories. I didn’t want this to be one of them.

    2. WhereIsTheLove says:

      How pathetic and sickening that you people feel the need to make horrible comments about a tragic situation. The world certainly does not need people like you. Two families just lost their son, brother and friend. There is absolutely no need to point out the obvious. People make mistakes, sometimes it just costs others more. Yes the ice was thin, yes these two boys made a bad decision. These families are hurting, so all you insensitive people should put yourselves in their shoes. I gaurantee that each and everyone of you have done something you knew wouldnt be a good idea at one point or another in your lifetime. Have some compassion! May God have mercy on your soul!

      1. Brett says:

        Ever heard of “tough love”? Well there is a serious LACK OF IT thest days. When you figger it out, let me know, then we can have a really rational discussion about it in our daily lives. But trust me, I won’t lose any sleep waiting for you to reply, because you don’t have the capacity to UNDERSTAND IT. I understand

  7. Winners says:

    Do you people not realize WCCO updates their stories all the time, yet you people constantly leave remarks to people like try reading the story 1st, When some1 makes a comment then the story is updated it can make their comment seem incorrect, this happens everyday, If you don’t have anything to add to the story, and you only came here to comment on others comments then perhaps you need a hobby.

    1. digger says:

      you mean like YOU

      1. @Digdug says:

        Actually I made that comment due to 1 I made earlier now not making sense due to the update, but thanks for coming here and typing “you mean like you
        ‘ wow you’re an important cog in this world, so much to offer, your poor family.

  8. Abbs says:

    I know the boys personally and it’s true that the 66 year old man tried to help. It breaks my heart seeing you guys argue about such petty things when there are 2 boys missing and probably dead because of this. I just think you should show a little respect. My whole community is really hurting right now and your comments arent helping.

    1. s says:

      thank you, my father was the one who fell in, he was one of the 2 who tried to rescue the boys.

      1. Abbs says:

        I thank your father from the bottom of my heart and so does our whole community! I have nothing but respect and love for him and your family. He did a very brave and noble thing. No matter what any of thiese idiots on here say. Please tell him the whole Rockford family thanks him for his efforts to save some dearly loved members of our little family.

        1. sarah says:

          Thank you abbs. it means alot. so many people have called my dad and gail heroes and it means alot to them. they tried their hardest to save them and my dad, as well as gail, were willing to risk their lives to save adam and brad.

          if anyone has any stupid remarks about this please by all means talk to me, not on here its very disrespectful in such a tragic situation.

  9. just asking says:

    why were they on the ice in the first place when it has been posted repeatedly that the ice around here IS NOT SAFE

    1. foolish actions says:

      exactly!!!!! over and over we’ve been told to stay off the ice…esp.snowmobiles & vehicles….because its not solid&safe enough!!!! i feel bad for these two boys but why do people ignore warnings and do foolish things. did their parents not tell them ‘stay off the ice, the lake’?? they should of!!

      1. Brett says:

        Sleepin with the fishes…. Saw more on the news tonight. Tell me that one of these kids was one among the 99% —- NOT.

  10. Sandy says:

    So very, very sad. My heart goes out to the loved ones and family. Stay off the ice people it is not safe!

  11. DMC says:

    tragic situations, in my opinion, are ones where a person doesn’t have a choice in the matter i.e.- the 3 year old shot by a stray bullet. this situation is sad, but could have been completely avoided. The reality of the situation is the two men are responsible for their own lives and deaths. may this serve as a reminder to others. may god have mercy on THEIR souls.

    1. Gina (Hanover) says:

      Did I miss something here? “May god have mercy on THEIR souls”??? Did they commit some kind of unforgivable crime!?! Like you didn’t make any poor judgement calls when you were an 18 year old KID. That’s all we’re dealing with here, a couple kids! They certainly didn’t deserve to die for their mistake. Good grief, there are families out there mourning and your griping like your day was inconvenienced. Get a life! It is disgusting to see the lack of humanity in so many of these posts! If your gonna post, just post your condolences for the family and leave it at that!

      Prayers to the Families, Friends and those who worked to save the boys. My heart goes out to you!

    2. Larry says:

      You’re right- on DMC!!! My sentiments exactly!! their defying ‘ warnings’ cost them their very lifes. beyond ‘ bad decision’…stupidity!!

  12. sorry for these two says:

    Yes it is true..snowmobiles can ride on open water for a hundred miles if you wanted to. I hate to see fellow snowmobilers go down like that.

  13. HUGS says:

    It is a sad day. It has not been said enough thank you to the two who followed through to try to help and so glad there end was not tragic as well. Sounds like they did go out with light to listen for the boys and were far from the open water but compromised ice on a spring fed lake in the dark is dangerous. I wish we could be celebrating them as hero’s instead of consoling the parents of the lost. Our hearts go to the parents and families, again thank you to the neighbors who tried to help, and to the rest of you hug your families and friends nice and tight as you don’t know when it will be the last time.

    1. sarah johnson says:

      thank you very much, that was my father, lowell, and my parents neighbor gail king who did go out there, the ice was comprimised and they did go out prepared as much as a person could in a matter of moments. there were no thin ice signs, its a tragic loss and i wish people with rude opinions would keep them to themselves especially when they do not know all what went on.

      i will be sure to tell my dad and neighbor for the thank you’s . Thank you

  14. Brett says:

    How about, THIS WEEKEND, we have a ‘get together’, and amass hundreds of snowmobiles, ATVs, etc, on that lake, invite the stupid mass media, and have a PARADE, in HONOR of these two who FAILED to HEED GOOD ADVICE, and stay OFF of a barely frozen lake? Would that make all of you do gooders feel better?

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