The Maine Warden Service is urging Mainers to use caution on waterways after a series of accidents involving snowmobiles.

It all started with an incident on Long Lake in MDI on Wednesday. Wardens say a sled driven by Eli Strauss went through the ice, plunging he and the two 12-year-old girls he was pulling on a tube into the icy water. They were able to swim to shore and are being treated for hypothermia. Since then, officials say at least nine more people have reported breaking through thin ice on snowmobiles over a 24-hour period.

In Belgrade, two men broke through thin ice on Long Lake Thursday evening and nearly drowned. 18-year-old Caleb Moore was driving a sled with 17-year-old Joshua Stevens on the back when they went through the ice into Belgrade Stream, at the outlet of Long Pond. Both Belgrade teens were taken to Maine General Medical Center in Augusta where they're in stable condition.

At around noon on Thursday, a Denmark man and his 5-year-old daughter encountered a flooded portion of a trail in that town. 44-year-old Stephen Glasgow and his daughter became submerged in icy water  in the Saco River (pictured below) but were able to get out and call for help. They were taken to Bridgton Hospital for treatment of hypothermia.

Maine Warden Service
Maine Warden Service

In Sangerville on Wednesday evening, two Guilford men broke through thin ice on Manhanock Pond in Sangerville. 52-year-old Brian Gaw and 47-year-old Jason Goggin were on separate snowmobiles when they broke through and both became submerged. They were able to get to shore where they phoned for help.

Wardens say rain and warm temperatures late last week deteriorated ice conditions significantly statewide and, although it's once again turned cold, that doesn't relax the need for extreme caution on ice. The last 48 hours have proven that conditions are still very hazardous. They advise avoiding waterways unless you're certain of ice conditions. Anyone not familiar with the conditions of a waterway should contact the local snowmobile clubs for ice safety information.

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