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Man falls into water at Pinhook Park in South Bend

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- South Bend emergency response crews responded to a report of a man falling into the St. Joseph River portion of Pinhook Park.

St. Joseph County Dispatch received the call around 2:45 p.m.and immediately dispatched police and other emergency services.

The park is located on the 3000 block of North Riverside Drive in South Bend.

Authorities were on scene wading through several inches of ice in Pinhook park to find the man.

Witnesses said they believed an ice fisherman fell through the ice. 

After hours of searching Indiana Conservation Officers recovered the body of 43-year-old Leonard Baldwin of Dowagiac, Michigan.

South Bend Fire Department Battalion Chief Mike Lagodney stated "When it comes to ice fishing it's my knowledge that 4 inches or more is safe and definitely not after the week we had standing water on top of the ice, it's gonna be unsafe." 

Authorities also say bodies of flowing water should be avoided when covered with ice, as well as water surrounded by sand, which could freeze with inconsistencies. 

The rule of thumb is for everyone to believe that they are "walking on thin ice." 

Indiana Conservation Officers are still investigating this incident, but at this time the preliminary categorization of the death has been ruled accidental. 

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