Snowmobile Riders Rescued From Thin Ice On Sebec Lake
Four snowmobile riders are recovering after encountering thin ice on Sebec Lake.
Warden Corporal John MacDonald says the men involved are 30-year-old Timothy Carignan of Berwick, 31-year-old Nicholas Smith of Berwick, 32-year-old Nathan Lynch of North Berwick, and 39-year-old James Taylor of Dover, New Hampshire. It was shortly after midnight on Saturday morning when the men encountered thin ice on the lake. Carignan and Smith avoided actually going into the water, but Lynch and Taylor became completely submerged, along with their sleds. Both men were able to get out of the water and onto the ice. Taylor drove one of the two remaining snowmobiles to an unoccupied camp to find warmth.
The other three men were stranded on thin ice near portions of open water and so Carignan called 911. At around 1:20 Saturday morning, members of the Sebec Fire Department, Mayo Ambulance, and Game Warden Jeremy Kemp responded. Sebec Firefighter Jason Horne and Kemp got a canoe from a nearby camp and ventured onto the ice, getting close enough to the men for them to climb onboard. However, the canoe became overloaded and Carignan had to get out, partially breaking through the ice. He managed to hold onto the canoe, however, as rescuers pulled it across the ice to safety.
The three men were taken to a nearby camp to warm up, while Warden Kemp went looking for Taylor. He was found nearby, in an unheated camp just before 2:30, hypothermic and unable to walk. A group of firefighters and EMS members, as well as Kemp, carried Taylor through two feet of snow to the closest plowed driveway, where he was transported to Mayo Regional Hospital in Dover and treated for hypothermia. MacDonald says, had Taylor not been located, it's likely he would not have survived the night.
Wardens say the men were not familiar with the lake, which contributed to the incident. Lynch and Taylor's snowmobiles remain on the lake bottom in about 12 feet of water. Smith's machine remains on the ice as it was too dangerous to remove it overnight. The incident remains under investigation.