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Chicago-area man dies after falling through ice during hockey game


Hockey nets at the scene where Patrick Rorig died after falling through thin ice in Johnsburg, Ill.

A suburban Chicago man died Sunday night after falling through the ice during a game of hockey with his son.

Fire officials said the man — identified as Patrick Rorig, 47, a custom home builder in Johnsburg, northwest of Chicago — fell through the 2-inch ice on the pond behind his house and was underwater for 31 minutes.

McHenry Township fire officers got the call for a water rescue about 6:14 p.m. (7:14 p.m. ET) and found Rorig about 10 feet from where he went under. He was airlifted to Advocate Condell Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Rorig's son, who wasn't immediately identified, was able to get off the ice in time. 

Authorities described the rescue as a dangerous one.

"They immediately went onto the ice and started searching the hole where he fell in," Battalion Chief Mike Majercik told NBC station WMAQ of Chicago

"In the immediate area around him, the ice was breaking," Majercik said. "Ultimately, we ended up putting a diver under the water, and that's when we recovered the person."

A rescue worker said that because this winter has been so mild — the temperature at the time was 29 degrees — that people were advised to stay off the ice. 

Rorig is the second person this month to die after falling through ice in McHenry County. The body Justin Ribar, 29, an ice fisherman from Wonder Lake, was recovered from Pistakee Lake  on Feb. 3.

M. Alex Johnson of msnbc.com contributed to this report by Anthony Ponce of NBC Chicago. Follow M. Alex Johnson on Twitter and Facebook.

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