The holidays produced some tragic news out of northern California. A trio of brothers, ages 32, 34, and 39, went duck hunting near McArthur on some flooded fields. On their way home one of the brothers tossed a rock onto Big Lake and their dog, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, went out after it. But the dog busted through the thin ice and could not get out. One brother went out on the ice to rescue the dog but also fell in. As reported by the Associated Press, the two other brothers then formed a human chain to reach the third brother, but they also broke through the ice. In a short time, two brothers were dead. It’s estimated they had about 90 seconds to get out of the 40-degree water before they lost the dexterity to climb back onto the ice. The remaining brother and the dog survived.

Here’s what Lt. Les Lovell of the El Dorado County Sheriff’s office told the Associated Press: “I certainly understand why people want to rescue a pet, but it’s a dangerous situation.”

I’m not here to play Monday morning quarterback, only to relay this news as a warning. Right now much of the country is experiencing an extreme cold snap, and there’s ice in places where it usually doesn’t occur (like my hometown of Charleston, S.C.). Please, let’s all be careful out there as duck season continues.