York Regional Police have recovered the bodies of two snowmobilers who disappeared on Lake Simcoe on New Year's Day.

Divers found the body of one of the two Georgina men on late Wednesday afternoon. They recovered the second victim hours later.

Stephen Docherty, 43, and William Cameron, 40, were found in about four metres of water one kilometre northeast of Georgina Island.

The pair had set out towards the south end of the lake at about 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, but never returned. Cameron's wife Darlene said her husband told her they would only be gone for about 90 minutes.

Both Cameron and Docherty were experienced snowmobilers who were dressed appropriately for the weather, police said. Autopsies will take place on Friday to determine their cause of death.

In wake of the tragedy, police are advising snowmobilers to stay off the lake, saying it's not safe.

"There are still many areas of open water on Lake Simcoe and ice fishermen and snowmobilers are reminded that conditions are dangerous and extreme caution should be used," states a police press release.

Police urge residents to abide by the following safety precautions:

  • Wear proper floatation attire;
  • Don't fish or snowmobile alone;
  • Tell someone about your plans and specifically where you are going;
  •  Know the condition of the ice before you go out and take into consideration the recent changes the weather may have had on the ice;
  • Be suspicious of grey, dark or porous spots in the ice as these may be soft areas. Ice is generally strongest where it is hard and blue; and
  • Heavy snow cover insulates ice and prevents it from freezing as evenly and as quickly as it would if the snow were not there. It is also deceptive for evaluating the ice cover.