Rescuers free injured man trapped on Thompson Lake

Chuck Blaquiere photo

Rescuers use an airboat from the Maine Warden Service on Thompson Lake on Sunday night.

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.

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Noel Foss's picture


Hopefully they'll bill him for the cost of that rescue mission.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

How thick could the ice Be???

I went by Range Pond on Rt.26 in Poland on Saturday afternoon, there were several people out on the ice, fishing with just their traps, no vehicles. I noticed about six to eight feet of open water all along the shore. Two questions popped into my head. Why would anyone take that kind of chance just for a few fish, and HOW did they get on the ice in the first place? I didn't see any boat or anything. The ice itself was very dark, indicating a lot of water in the ice, in other words, "the ice is melting", I would really enjoy hearing their explanation for intentionally being on thin ice. Then I'd like to know where they discarded all their "common sense". I'll go get it, it never hurts to have a little extra........

Catherine Pressey's picture

common sense

I agree, I have always had a fear of thin ice, since I was young in school in NJ, a girl friends little bro. went out on thin ice, on a cranberry bog at 4/5yrs old. Think he snuck out of their home, like kids do. He died that day and all of us kids cried, and I never will forget it. However one year my Bro. and I decided to snowshoe up my brook, Bog brook quit frozen at the time. White frozen well I shall never do that again as a few days later all water no ice. It sure can change real fast, I stay away from ice in any form. And when I move here from Jersey I was aghast that people were taking cars out on the ice. Everyone said to me oh it is safe, very safe, then one year a local guy died on that lake, it was Trip lake, he and his car went thru. the ice. Not me, no how. Sad our common sense goes away if we had any. And in the dark, what was he thinking or NOT!


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