Spokane ice fisherman’s body recovered from Priest Lake


COOLIN, Idaho — The body of a Spokane ice fisherman has been recovered from Priest Lake.

The Bonner County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team recovered 40-year-old Matthew Best’s body on February 20.

West Priest Lake Fire and Life Flight responded to a report Best had fallen through the ice. The Sheriff’s Office said Best had been fishing from the shore with another family member when they split up and Best moved out onto off-shore ice. The ice was not thick enough to hold him and he fell through.

Best alerted his relative and tried to get out of the water, but was unsuccessful. He ultimately succumbed to the cold water and drowned.

Upon arrival, responders could not locate Best due to darkness and unsafe conditions. The Bonner County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team recovered Best’s body the following morning.

The Sheriff’s Office extended their most sincere sympathies to Best’s family and loved ones. They ask that the public use caution on frozen waterways as temperatures fluctuate in the area. They said ice formed in overflowing water and currents is often dangerous and should avoid being traversed.

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