ASHLAND, Maine — State game wardens issued a citation Friday to a 38-year-old New Hampshire man for attempting to cross open water from one side to another of the Aroostook River.
Eric Schreiber, of Raymond, N.H., was snowmobiling with two friends on ITS 85 at 2:30 p.m. when, instead of crossing the river on the Route 11 bridge, he attempted to cross the river itself, according to Maine Warden Service Lt. Tom Ward.
About halfway across, Schreiber and his sled ended up in 4 feet of water. He was able to get out, and a towing company was called to remove the sled from the water.
The incident occurred about 400 feet from IF&W’s Ashland Regional Office, according to a news release issued by department spokeswoman Deborah Turcotte. Wardens Preston Pomerleau and David Milligan investigated the incident.
Schreiber was summoned for operating a snowmobile on open water, also known as “skimming,” and faces a monetary fine.
“Skimming” occurs when a snowmobiler, riding on snow or ice, approaches open water and attempts to hydroplane across it to snow or ice on the other side by opening up the sled’s throttle and gunning the engine.
It is illegal to operate a snowmobile on open water in Maine. The activity has resulted in near drownings and death.
“Skimming across open water is extremely dangerous and stupid,” Lt. Ward said.