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Snowmobilers Stuck on First Connecticut Lake After Breaking Through Ice

Conservation Officer Eric Fluette, (603) 788-4850

February 18, 2016

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On February 17, 2016 at approximately 1:00 p.m., Conservation Officer Eric Fluette responded to a 911 call reporting that two snowmobiles had gone through the ice on First Connecticut Lake in Pittsburg in the area of Camp Otter Road. Further information explained that the snowmobiles were submerged and that the operators were standing on their seats approximately 500 feet from the shoreline.


A multiple agency rescue effort ensued to safely extract both Jacob Bent, 17, of Amesbury Massachusetts and Victoria Holbrook, 17, of Amesbury Massachusetts. Pittsburg Fire Department, Beecher Falls Fire Department, Colebrook Fire Department and 45th Parallel EMS personnel responded to the scene. Utilizing various rescue personnel and specialized ice rescue equipment a team was able to make their way to the stranded snowmobilers and bring them to safety. After, with help from Terry Swain and his tracked UTV, bystanders and rescue personnel were also able to remove both snowmobiles from the water and bring them to shore.


According to rescue personnel, the snowmobiles were in approximately 2-3 feet of water. It appeared to them that they had broken through a thin layer of ice, but were still being supported by an additional layer of ice.


After following up with the involved parties it was determined that Jeffrey Holbrook, 53, of Amesbury Massachusetts was leading in the group of three. They were traveling along the edge of First Connecticut Lake to get to the trails north when Mr. Holbrook encountered the thin ice area. He was able to keep momentum and get his snowmobile to shore, but when he looked back he found out that the two behind him had not been so lucky. Realizing he couldn’t be of any help with the ice concerns, Mr. Holbrook immediately left and called 911.


Fish and Game Officials would like to use this incident as a reminder to those recreating on frozen waterbodies of the dangers associated with ice. This year’s inconsistent weather patterns have made ice conditions vary more than usual, even up in the northern parts of the state.

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