PLYMOUTH – Two local police officers needed rescuing Tuesday after falling through thin ice while trying to save a fisherman who also fell into a pond in Manomet.
Firefighters ultimately pulled all three from the frigid waters of Fresh Pond.
The drama unfolded at the northern end of the pond shortly after 2 p.m., when a Clearwater Drive woman reported seeing a man fall through the ice off the neighborhood beach.
The 67-year-old man had been ice fishing with a friend and fell through the ice about 20 feet from shore. The friend managed to get a rope around the man and was able to keep his head above water, but could not pull him out, Capt. John Rogers said.
The first responding officer went out onto the ice on his stomach and tried to pull the man from the water as well. A second officer arrived a short time later and went out to help, but the ice broke and both fully clothed and outfitted officers went into the 10-foot deep water.
Rogers said the officers managed to keep the fisherman’s head above water until a firefighter wearing a rescue suit went into the pond and rescued all three.
Fire Chief Ed Bradley said the incident highlights the dangers of venturing onto ice.
Shortly after Tuesday’s rescue, police and firefighters went to nearby Wanno’s Pond off Bartlett Road to disperse six people who had built a campfire on the ice.
On Monday, a Dorchester man reported falling through thin ice while snowshoeing on Rocky Pond in West Plymouth. That man told firefighters his son was able to rescue him. He reported the incident because he lost gear in the pond and did not want anyone to think there was a drowning if it was ever found.
Bradley said last weekend’s storm covered most ponds in town with snow,giving the false impression that the ice beneath is safe. But temperatures have not been cold enough long enough to make the ice safe, he said.
A Clearwater Drive resident who witnessed Tuesday’s rescue said one of the fishermen told him they had checked the thickness of the ice and measured it at four inches. But he said Fresh Pond is fed by numerous springs, which can affect the thickness of the ice.
The police officers and the fisherman who fell into the water Tuesday were taken to BID-Plymouth hospital for evaluation and treatment for exposure to cold temperatures. All three were released from the hospital later Tuesday.
Rogers would not identify the officers or the fishermen, saying only that the officers are veterans of the department and that the fisherman is a 67-year-old Manomet resident who lives near the pond.
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