Two boys expected to be OK after falling through ice on Nashawannuck Pond in Easthampton
JERREY ROBERTS Easthampton Fire Chief David Mottor Purchase photo reprints »
EASTHAMPTON — Two male high school students were taken to Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton after they fell through thin ice on Nashawannuck Pond Thursday afternoon.
Fire Chief David A. Mottor said the boys, who he declined to identify, were in the water for less than 10 minutes before they were able to pull themselves back onto the ice and walk to shore. He said their injuries are not life-threatening.
“They were extremely cold and extremely wet,” Mottor said. “I put them in the backseat of my car with my coat over them until the ambulance arrived.”
This is the second such accident in Hampshire County in the past two days. On Wednesday, four men were taken to area hospitals after three fishermen fell through ice on Lake Metacomet in Belchertown. The fourth man, a firefighter who aided in the rescue, was taken to a hospital as a precaution and then released. The names and conditions of the other three men have not been made public.
“I would say that at this point, and with the forecast (of warmer temperatures) for the weekend, the ice isn’t safe,” Mottor said.
Easthampton High School was open for a half-day today and the boys were apparently cutting across the pond at about 12:40 p.m. when they got too close to open water, Mottor said.
“You should never go near open water,” he said.
The boys fell in the water about 20 to 30 feet from the shore near Williston Avenue, prompting many 911 calls from motorists.
Once the boys were able to get back on the ice, police officers at the scene directed them to the shore near Brookside Cemetery and away from the open water.
Mottor said it is “extremely unusual” for people in that situation to get back on solid ice, because it usually crumbles and breaks.
Mottor said the Easthampton Fire Department posted on its Facebook page Wednesday that the ice on the pond was not safe after hearing about the Belchertown incident.
In February 2012, two high school-age boys fell through the ice on Nashawannuck Pond behind the Cottage Street shops and were able to get to shore. They were treated and released from Cooley Dickinson Hospital.
Rebecca Everett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.