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Two Snowmobilers Go Through Open Water on Moosehead Lake
Augusta, Maine - Two snowmobilers in a group of seven went into open water on the East Outlet of Moosehead Lake at approximately 6:25 p.m. today.
The drivers were pulled from the water by the other sledders who used rope and formed a human chain to grab hold of them, according to Maine Warden Service Game Warden Troy Dauphinee.
The seven snowmobilers were working their way down the west side of the lake, from the Kineo Mountain area towards Greenville.
According to Warden Dauphinee, the front two snowmobilers, Rob George and Stu Hummel of Rhode Island (towns unknown), went into the water with their sleds. Mr. George's son, David, also of Rhode Island, got wet in the attempt to get the men from the water.
Scott Snell from nearby Wilson’s Camp was able to call from shore and give directions to the group so that they could walk to shore.
Greenville Fire and Rescue responded to the scene as well as the Charles A. Dean ambulance.
The other members of the party were Robert St. Jean of Scituate, R.I., Jimmy Chaffee of Woolwich, R.I., Jay George of Rhode Island, William Given of Cranston, R.I., and Robert Carpeti of Cranberry Township, Penn.
The two men were taken to Charles A. Dean Hospital in Greenville to be treated for cold water exposure.
Several wardens responded to the scene with the airboat.
Last year, a Pennsylania couple died when their snowmobiles went into open water on the East Outlet.
Recent above-average temperatures have caused ice to rapidly deteriorate throughout the state. Today's heavy rains, which will continue tonight, will create fast-moving rivers and streams that will run off into lakes and ponds. People should avoid inlets and outlets because of the dangerous conditions.
Also, the rain is creating slush on lakes and ponds that is thinning ice. People are strongly advised to use good judgement and check ice conditions if venturing onto any waterway. If unfamiliar with a waterway, don't go onto it, especially in the dark.
The Maine Warden Service offers these tips for ice safety:
• Check the ice with a partner, so if something does happen, someone is there to help you. If you are doing it alone, wear a lifejacket.
• If ice at the shoreline is cracked or squishy, stay off! Watch out for thin, clear or honeycombed ice. Dark snow and dark ice are other signs of weak spots.
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