To The Daily Sun,
Early Sunday evening as we were finishing dinner while visiting a neighbor, there was pounding on the front door. A young man with panic in his voice told us that both he and his friend had fallen through the ice on snowmobiles. He made it to shore, but his friend was still out in the frigid water.
Within minutes, the emergency teams from three towns responded to our 9-1-1 call. This story might not have had a happy ending had it not been for the excellent training and teamwork of these three local fire and ice rescue units. As eyewitnesses we stand in awe of the dedication and professionalism of the Laconia, Gilford and Belmont ice rescue teams. The young man in the water was in the middle of Lake Winnisquam approximately one-half mile from shore. We could only watch and pray. The focus and dedication of the rescue effort was incredible. We are so fortunate to have these highly trained professionals in our community.
Without them the ending to this story would have been tragic. There are heroes in our midst — each and every member of the ice rescue teams from Laconia, Gilford and Belmont was a hero on Sunday night. We were privileged to see them in action and we are extremely grateful that they were there. We also thank the Tilton-Northfield and Meredith Fire Departments who covered Laconia and the Weirs should there have been another local emergency.
We cannot end our letter, however, without issuing a word of caution to all those who venture out on the ice during the winter when ice fishing, snowmobiling or skating. In many of our lakes, currents affect the thickness of ice. There are often areas of thin ice or open water on our big lakes due to these currents. An open water rescue, especially at night is a challenging and dangerous endeavor for all involved.
The firefighters who risked their own lives to save the young snowmobiler did so without question and with amazing precision. We owe it to them not to engage in unsafe practices while we enjoy the outdoors in winter.
Liz & Alan Rosenfeld
- Category: Letters
- Hits: 502