April 24, 2018
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Bath boy, 13, saved after riding ice floe down Kennebec River

By Beth Brogan, BDN Staff

BATH, Maine — Bath firefighters and police officers rescued a 13-year-old boy who rode an ice floe about 20 to 50 feet down the turbulent Kennebec River on Saturday afternoon.

The boy from Bath “decided to do a little bit of exploring and got caught on one floe, went to jump on another one, fell in the river and wiggled his way back up onto the ice floe,” Capt. Michael Clarke of the Bath Fire Department said Saturday.

Firefighters and police officers assembled on the river bank near the train station and threw the boy a rope, pulling him in, while one firefighter lay down on a ladder on another, thicker ice floe and crawled out to meet the boy, Clarke said.

“Once we got the rope to him, it was get him quick and get him off,” Clarke said.

A Bath Iron Works security boat stayed approximately 30 to 40 feet from the scene “just in case.”

But the boy was on shore within seven to eight minutes of emergency personnel’s arrival, Clarke said.

The boy, who was not hypothermic, was warmed up in an ambulance and released to his parents.

Clarke said the situation could have turned out far worse, especially with an outgoing tide.

“He’s a very lucky young man,” the captain said. “This thing could have turned bad. Really, really bad.”

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