11-year-old boy falls through ice at Puffers Pond, pulled ashore 


Staff Writer
Published: 2/11/2019 12:21:08 PM

AMHERST — An 11-year-old boy who fell through ice at Puffer’s Pond Sunday afternoon was treated and released from Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, said Assistant Fire Chief Lindsay Stromgren.

Amherst firefighters and paramedics, along with Amherst police officers, responded to the North Amherst site at 12:13 p.m. after getting a 911 call from a person ice fishing on the pond.

When they got there, Stromgren said, public safety personnel learned that the boy had been submerged up to his chest. Several people fishing on the surface were able to get the boy onto one of their sleds and pulled him to shore.

While he was conscious and alert, the boy may have suffered mild hypothermia, Stromgren said. He was transported by ambulance to the hospital.

The boy had been hiking with a member of his family when he attempted to cross the pond from the State Street side.

Stromgren said the fire department is issuing warnings about ice safety as a result of the incident.

With the fluctuations in temperatures this winter and the periodic rainstorms, it is uncertain how thick and safe ice is at ponds, he said. In addition, just because people are ice fishing does not mean all the ice on a pond is safe.

In this case, the boy appeared to go through the ice in a channel where the current is faster below the ice, meaning the ice is thinner, Stromgren said.

Parents are also advised to tell their children not to go out on ice without adult supervision.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.

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