ELLSWORTH, Maine — Four men were rescued early Saturday evening after the two all-terrain vehicles they were on went through the ice on Branch Lake near a rock ledge known locally as “the cow and the calf,” according to the Maine Warden Service.
Wardens and Marine Patrol officers were dispatched to the lake about 5:15 p.m., Warden Alan Gillis said 3½ hours later.
Lawrence Tucker of Ellsworth, Darwin Golding, Mike Hibbits and Jeffrey Burditt, all of Sullivan, were returned to shore, the Warden Service said Sunday. Tucker and Hibbits own the ATVs.
No summonses were issued, Gillis said Saturday.
When rescuers arrived, four adults were on the ice about 200 yards offshore, according to Gillis. Their four-wheeled ATVs went through the ice but they managed to get out of the water and onto the ice.
“We were able to walk to them, each dragging canoes, but they were able to walk off the ice to the ambulance,” the warden said. “All of them refused treatment.”
The owners of the ATVs are responsible for retrieving them from the lake as soon as possible or they could be cited for violating regulations of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Gillis said.
The warden issued a warning for others who might want to venture onto bodies of water that appear to be iced over.
“The ice is getting to be pretty treacherous,” he said. “People should use extreme caution. No snowmobiles, ATVs or vehicles should be taken out onto the ice now.”