At least nine people on snowmobiles went through thin ice during a treacherous 24-hour period this week, according to WGME and the Maine Warden Service.
Between Wednesday and Thursday, snowmobilers crashed through the ice and into freezing water on four separate ponds, streams and frozen trails across the state.
Last week’s thawing temperatures created thin patches across the frozen surfaces of Maine bodies of water, the warden service cautioned in a statement, according to Portland- based CBS affiliate WGME.
On Thursday night, Caleb Moore, 18, was riding a snowmobile with Joshua Stevens, 17, as his passenger when the pair went through the ice on Belgrade Stream at the outlet of Long Pond, WGME reported.
It took local rescue teams two hours to retrieve them, and both were treated for hypothermia and returned to stable condition at Augusta’s MaineGeneral Medical Center, the report said.
Earlier that day, around noon, Stephen Glasgow, 44, of Denmark and his daughter, 5, fell through a frozen portion of a Denmark snowmobile path that recently flooded, submerging them both, WGME reported. After they lifted themselves out, they sought treatment for hypothermia at Bridgton Hospital, the report said.
On Wednesday night, two sets of riders fell through the frozen ponds.
Brian Gaw, 52, and Jason Goggin, 47, both of Guilford, broke through ice on Manhancock Pond in Sangerville but were able to free themselves and seek help from family on shore, according to WGME.
That same night, Eli Strauss, 43, was dragging his daughter and her friend, both 12, on an inner-tube behind his snowmobile on the frozen surface of Mount Desert Island’s Long Pond when his vehicle plunged through the surface. The three were later rescued by the warden service and treated for hypothermia.
“The recent return to cold temperatures should not relax the need for extreme caution on Maine’s waterways,” the warden service cautioned after the string of accidents, according to WGME. “These latest incidents are clear indications that ice conditions are very hazardous. Accessing lakes and ponds should be avoided unless operators can be certain of ice conditions. Those not familiar with ice conditions are encouraged to contact local snowmobile clubs for ice safety information.”
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