Man falls through ice on Contoocook Lake

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 1/17/2023 2:43:04 PM
Modified: 1/17/2023 2:39:50 PM

A windsurfer fell through the ice on Contoocook Lake in Jaffrey on Sunday, prompting an on-ice rescue from the fire department.

Jaffrey Fire Chief David Chamberlain said a bystander called 911 after the man fell through at about 12:22 p.m. The department responded with an ice rescue sled and cold-water gear.

When the surfer fell through, a nearby ice fisherman used his ice fishing sled to help keep the man above the water’s surface until crews arrived. While crews were attempting to extract the man from the water, the ice fisherman’s sled tipped, and the bystander who had been assisting also entered the water, according to Chamberlain. He was also extracted safely, and both men were brought to shore.

The man who originally fell through the ice had been in the water for between 40 and 50 minutes before he was extracted, and was taken to Monadnock Community Hospital by ambulance for treatment. The man who had assisted him had only a short exposure, and was checked by personnel on the scene.

Chamberlain cautioned residents to check ice conditions before participating in any on-ice activities.

“Ice is unpredictable, especially on a body of water like Contoocook, which has varying depths. Just because it’s safe on one part of the lake doesn’t mean the whole thing is safe,” Chamberlain said.

The Jaffrey Fire Department was assisted by New Hampshire Fish and Game, Jaffrey-Rindge Memorial Ambulance, Peterborough Ambulance, the regional Water Rescue Task Force, the Winchendon Dive Team, Jaffrey Police, Rindge Police and bystanders who helped man ropes to pull the rescue sled and gave information on ice conditions.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 603-924-7172, Ext. 244, or asaari@ledg She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.

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