POLAND — A man who was ice fishing on Thompson Lake needed to be rescued Sunday night.
At about 8 p.m. Sunday, the Poland Fire Department was called to a water rescue off of Camp Fernwood Lane.
According to fire Chief Mark Bosse, a man walked about 1,500 feet onto the ice. He was walking back in the dark when he tripped on a pressure ridge in the ice.
Bosse said he appears to have hit his head when he fell and wedged himself between the ice and in the water, unable to free himself.
The caretaker for Camp Fernwood returned home in the evening and rode his snowmobile around the property, including the nearby lake, according to Bosse. The caretaker heard the man shouting and immediately called 911.
Bosse said the Poland Fire Department arrived with the Androscoggin County Sheriff's Office and prepared for a cold water rescue; preparing rope lines and putting on cold weather gear referred to as "Gumby suits."
The Oxford Fire Department also assisted. Bosse said 20 to 25 personnel assisted in the rescue, working quickly as concerns about hypothermia grew.
According to Bosse, ice thickness was also an issue. Ice gave out around three rescuers. They were able to reach the trapped man, but the Maine Warden Service was called in with an air boat to assist removing him from the ice. At that time, Bosse said the man was complaining of head pain, possibly from hitting his head in the fall.
Bosse said the man was loaded into a basket by rescuers and transferred to the air boat to bring him to shore. An ambulance transported him to Poland Regional High School to be used as what Bosse called a "warming station" and awaited Life Flight to transport him to Central Maine Medical Center.