Family Friend Identifies Man Who Died In Frozen Catoosa Pond
CATOOSA, Oklahoma - We now know the name of the man who died after falling through the ice of a pond in Catoosa.
A family friend said the man's name is Jeff McIlroy.
The leader of the dive team who recovered the body said he hopes this tragedy will help people understand just how dangerous it is to walk out onto any body of water in the winter.
Officer Tommy Barbee, Team leader of Tulsa Police's Dive Team knows the dangers of ice all too well.
"It takes a minimum of four inches, to make it stable for somebody to be on it," said Barbee.
He was one of many rescuers on scene Thursday night in Catoosa.
"It's what we train to do, it's our job," Barbee said, "one of the biggest fears is one of our divers getting entangled, or losing a diver because it's a risk that we take every time we put a diver in the water".
Darkness along with cold temperatures made a difficult recovery even tougher.
"We've never had a call out during the night before, we've never had a call out that involved that ice, that thick," said dive team member Shawn Kite.
Kite was the diver in the water that night.
"I could see about a foot, very little visibility," he said.
He showed us some of the gear used in operations and the impact these rescues have on them.
"We want to be able to be there in a situation, or crisis so that we can be the ones that make the difference," Kite said.
Tulsa Police said it took Kite about 30 minutes to find Jeff McIlroy's body.
While both members of the dive team wish there could have been a better ending, they hope they were able to bring some closure to the family.
"I was able to bring some bit of value to the family in the fact that I was able to return their loved one to them that night," Kite said.
Over the weekend, firefighters had to rescue a teenager who fell through ice on a Tulsa pond.
While first responders train for these situations, they hope the public will avoid them altogether.