A 63-year-old Princeton man had to be rescued while trying to save a deer that was stranded on Long Lake.

The Maine Warden Service says Rick Crowe noticed the deer at around 8:30 Monday morning. Wanting to help it to safety, he put on a life jacket and took his canoe out onto the ice. However, the canoe overturned and Crowe was thrown into the frigid water. His wife, Tina, was watching and immediately called Game Warden Brad Richard, who was in the area.

Richard enlisted help from Princeton Fire Chief Tony Ramsdell and Princeton Firefighter Chris McPhee, and got the Warden Service Airboat that's stored at the nearby airport. The three crossed the lake and Ramsdell, who was wearing a cold water rescue suit, jumped into the water to secure Crowe. Officials say, at this point, the man was conscious but severely hypothermic. They pulled him into the airboat and headed to shore, where an Indian Township Ambulance took him to Calais Regional Hospital. Wardens say Crowe's body temperature was 89 degrees when he was loaded into the ambulance.

Warden Richard and the two others then returned to the lake to retrieve the canoe, and were also able to bring the deer to shore.

Game Wardens remind residents that the warm weather and rains we got last month have made the ice very treacherous this year. Many lakes and ponds have far less ice than normal, so people should be checking ice thickness before heading out, and frequently as they move farther out on a waterway.

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