Three people perished this weekend, after their snowmobiles went into open water. On Saturday, February 11th at approximately 11:30 a.m. rescuers respond to three subjects on snowmobile who entered open water between Long Island and Sandy Island on Lake Winnipesaukee. Steven Weiss, 66, and David Crosier 68, both from Westborough MA and their friend Mark O’Connell 62 years old from Moultonborough New Hampshire were riding snowmobiles together on Lake Winnipesaukee. All three snowmobiles entered open water off Long Island. Rescuers from Moultonborough Fire, Tuftonboro Fire along with their Airboat and Fish and Game responded to the scene.
Weiss was able to drive his snowmobile toward Long Island and make it to shore. Mark O’Connell remained in the water keeping afloat on ice debris. He was recovered by the Tuftonboro airboat unresponsive and pronounced deceased at the hospital. David Crosier was recovered later that night by Conservation Officers utilizing a Remote Operated Vehicle along with their Airboat in 21 feet of water.
In a Separate Incident Drowning Victim Recovered From Lake Winnipesaukee in Alton
On Saturday, February 11th shortly before 3:00 PM a 48-year-old man of Mamaroneck, NY and his 15 year old son were riding snowmobiles on Lake Winnipesaukee. They had left from Sleepers Island and were headed towards Ship and Moose Islands when they encountered a large area of thin ice. Both machines broke through and sent the men into the water. Members of Alton Fire, Gilford Fire, as well as airboat teams from Tuftonboro Fire and West Ossipee Fire and Conservation Officers responded.
The father was located and transported by ambulance to Lakes Region Hospital in Laconia for treatment. He was later released. Unfortunately, his son was missing and presumed drowned. On Sunday, February 12th at 9:30 AM Conservation Officers utilizing a Remote Operated Vehicle along with the Tuftonboro Fire Airboat Team located the young man in 73 feet of water and were able to recover his body.
These incidents should remind anyone participating in activities on the ice to take precautions. Ice conditions are variable, constantly changing due to weather and water. Anyone participating in activities on the ice should inspect the ice to insure it is safe for the activity they are performing. Personnel preventive equipment such as flotation coats and devices, ice picks and throw ropes should always be readily available while on the ice.