Warden service urges extreme caution on waterways

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SANGERVILLE — Game wardens are urging anyone accessing Maine’s lake and ponds to exercise extreme caution. Following the Jan. 17 rescue of three people from Long Pond in Southwest Harbor, at least nine more people reported breaking through thin ice on snowmobiles in a 24-hour period.

The Maine Warden Service received a late report on Jan. 18 that two Guilford men broke through thin ice on Manhanock Pond in Sangerville the previous evening. Brian Gaw, 52, and Jason Goggin, 47, were operating separate snowmobiles and both struggled to get to shore when their snowmobiles became submerged. Once at shore, the men were able to phone family for help.

Recent rain and warm temperatures deteriorated ice conditions significantly statewide. The recent return to cold temperatures should not relax the need for extreme caution on Maine’s waterways. These latest incidents are clear indications that ice conditions are very hazardous. Accessing lakes and ponds should be avoided unless operators can be certain of ice conditions. Those not familiar with ice conditions are encouraged to contact local snowmobile clubs for ice safety information.

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