TRAVERSE CITY -- Two Ohio men set out to retrieve a dead coyote from northern Lake Leelanau in a kayak today, a task that put them onto -- and ultimately through -- thin ice.

About 200 yards offshore the boat broke through the ice and ejected one of the men, 60, into the frigid water. The other man, 35, was able to pull him out, said Leelanau County Sheriff Mike Borkovich.

Emergency services were dispatched to the scene.

"We were able to break the ice going out to the individuals in the water, get them and bring them back in to shore," Borkovich said. "I'm real certain it would not have turned out good if they didn’t get them when they did."

The two men were soaked, pale and shivering when they were rescued, but declined medical treatment after they warmed up, Borkovich said.

"If that call didn’t come in when it did we might’ve had a drowning or two or death of exposure," Borkovich said.

Someone watching the men from the shore called the incident in at 10:58 a.m. The men were rescued by 11:20.

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