LITCHFIELD — A pair of passersby rescued two local men who broke through the ice Saturday afternoon while riding on an all-terrain vehicle on Pleasant Pond.

The two men who plunged through the ice on the ATV and one of the passersby, who also fell through the ice while trying to rescue them, were uninjured but extremely cold, police said. They were evaluated at the scene and released.

Timothy Moulton, 63, of Pittston and his passenger, Robert Freeman, 66, of West Gardiner were returning to the shore from ice fishing on a 2001 Yamaha Grizzly ATV when they broke through the ice about 20 feet from shore and went underwater.

Gary Emmons Jr. said Monday he was driving by with his daughter, Katie, at about 3:15 p.m. Saturday and spotted the ATV riders and was worried they were going to go through the ice as they approached Thorofare Road, so he stopped to watch in case they did not make it to shore.

He grabbed his cellphone and snapped a photograph of them just as the ATV broke through the ice.

Emmons wrote on his Facebook page he jumped out of the car, telling his daughter to stay there, and “called 911 and just asked them to send everyone headed this way and I threw my phone on the ground so I could get to the guys.”


Emmons said he was able to grab one of the men, but Emmons then broke through the ice and went into the water up to his chin.

Before Emmons went under the ice, another passerby, Cliff Daigle, the animal control officer in Bowdoinham, threw Emmons a dog run cable, which he was able to attach to himself.

Officer Michail Grizkewitsch of the Richmond Police Department said Daigle saw Emmons go underwater, and Daigle was able to pull Emmons and one of the ATV riders to the shore.

An all-terrain vehicle is removed Saturday after riders fell into icy waters at Pleasant Pond in Litchfield. Photo courtesy of Richmond Police Department

After struggling for several minutes to get the men out of the water because the ice was breaking, Grizkewitsch said the men were able to get out of the frigid water and off the ice. The other ATV rider also managed to get out of the water and onto shore.

“If not for Gary (Emmons) and, in turn, Cliff (Daigle), this could have easily been a fatality, if not double,” Grizkewitsch said. “If not for their quick action, I believe this could have been a horrible outcome.”

Grizkewitsch said the men were likely in 5 to 8 feet of water for about 10 minutes.


Emmons said when he got to safety, he was “frozen like a popsicle.” He jumped into his car and hugged his daughter, who was scared by what she had seen.

Grizkewitsch said the ice on Pleasant Pond is not safe. From the water rescue scene near the Richmond-Litchfield line, however, the officer said he could see people continuing to fish on the thin ice.

Along with Richmond police, a Maine game warden and emergency workers from the Richmond, Bowdoinham, Bowdoin and Gardiner fire departments responded to the rescue.

Rick’s Towing of Richmond also responded and, with the help of rescue workers, was able to retrieve the ATV from the water.

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