Police & Fire

Father, daughter survive breaking through ice while snowmobiling near Baxter State Park 

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NORTH TWIN LAKE — Brian Sutch, 53, and his daughter Falen, 16, from Manchester, Connecticut, were traveling northwest on North Twin Lake in T4 Indian Purchase when they broke through thin ice shortly before 7 p.m. on Feb. 17. Both were operating their own machines when they quickly became submerged. The father and daughter managed to get themselves out of the water and onto safe ice while wearing full riding gear and helmets. They were then able to call 911.


A game warden and members of Millinocket Fire Department responded and located the subjects on the west side of the lake. The Sutchs were taken by rescue sled to an awaiting ambulance and transported to Millinocket Regional Hospital where they were treated for mild hypothermia. Both are recovering and have been released from the hospital. 


Their snowmobiles, a 2015 Polaris 600 and a 2009 Ski-Doo 600, remain on the bottom of the lake in about 25 feet of water. Game wardens were on scene the next day trying to determine the exact location of the snowmobiles so that plans for removal can begin.


The Maine Department of inland Fisheries and Wildlife reminds snowmobilers to use extreme caution when riding on Maine lakes and ponds, especially at night. Even with the recent cold temperatures, several lakes and ponds continue to have thin ice and even open water near currents, dams, inlets and outlets.

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