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      Close call as snowmobile ends up in Portage Canal

      It was a very close call for a 29-year-old Minnesota man on Wednesday in Houghton when the snowmobiler went into the icy water of the Portage Canal, near the bridge.

      The man was riding on the Bill Nichol's Trail number three off of West Lakeshore Drive. His sled slid into the ice and crashed through. The man was able to jump off the snowmobile before it went into the canal.

      "The snowmobiler came up and hit the curving," said eyewitness Brian Dunstan. "He lost control and it's all this ice and everything over here, and all of the sudden he jumped off of the machine and let his machine go by itself instead of him falling into the lake with it."

      Emergency vehicles and Coast Guard personnel were on hand. The snowmobiler was not hurt.

      The sled was close to the shore, so a tow truck operator was able to pull the machine from the canal.