It has been cold for most of the past month, but as one snowmobile driver and his passenger found out yesterday, it hasn’t been cold enough.
Michael Vento was driving with a 10-year-old boy on Lake Ripple at 5:30 last night when their snowmobile went through the ice, sending both passengers in to the water.
Jessica and Roger Zaleski were at their house on the lake when the incident occurred. According to a press release from Grafton Police Chief Normand Crepeau, it was a call from Jessica that got the police response to save the passengers.
“Jessica stated that they heard the sound of the snowmobile stop and she and her husband checked to discover that the snowmobile and passengers had gone through the ice,” Crepeau said. “Jessica said she immediately called 911 while her husband went out to see if he could assist.”
When an officer arrived Roger Zaleski was already halfway out on the ice attempting to reach the victims who were 50 feet out from the shoreline.
Officer Dan Wenc from the Grafton Police Department, Chief Michael Mills and firefighter Brett Mills from the Grafton Fire Department and Zaleski were able to pull the young boy to safety using a life ring.
In an attempt to rescue the man who was having trouble pulling himself out of the ice, firefighter Mills went out further to assist. Responders were able to use a canoe they found nearby to pull the man from the water.
Both victims were treated for hypothermia at the scene and Vento, the driver, was transported to UMass Medical Center for further treatment.
According to Crepeau’s release the victims had been in the water for at least 10 minutes.