Local Town Shows Support for Jim Hudson


by Matt Doyle

Jim Hudson, one of the state's more famous anglers and fishing guides, died last Saturday after his snowmobile went through the ice on Lake Superior.   For someone who lived on the water and practice safety measures, his death reminds us how careful people need to be around icy water.

"There really is no safe ice," Waukesha Firefighter Joseph Hoffman said.  That's echoed by many who deal with it living and working in Wisconsin. "There's always the possibility for problems," Hoffman said.  "Plan for anything bad to happen. Always be prepared."

This comes to mind as friends gathered to honor the late Jim Hudson in West Bend.  Hudson died last Saturday after his snowmobile went through the ice on Lake Superior.

"He went after his dream of being a fishing guide and he was one of the best," Rory Ott, the fundraiser organizer and Hudson's friend, said.  "He was on TV quite a bit. I fished with him a few times and started bringing people up from down here to fish with him."

Today's fundraiser helps Hudson's wife.  The ice fishing tournament drew more than 80 people but also gave us another difficult reminder. A truck fell through the ice on Big Cedar Lake.  No one was hurt but it reminds you of the danger. 

"Ice really hasn't had a good time to be good strong ice," Hoffman said.  "We've got a lot of cloudy ice that's not the best for supporting weight. Especially vehicles. The cold water, once you're immersed in it will be sucking body heat out of you very fast."

The back and forth weather takes the blame lately. But people need to be smart - that means having a partner, bring a life jacket, and having a safety plan.

"Two to three inches is a good solid amount to be walking on top of ice," Hoffman said.  "But preferably getting on top of the four or five inches is where it should be. No less than six to eight inches if you're driving a vehicle on the ice."



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