BOLTON — Warren County is warning people against venturing onto Lake George after a man fell through the ice on Monday morning.
Bolton Fire Chief Butch LaGoy said firefighters were called about 8 a.m. for a fisherman who fell through the ice in front of Chic’s Marina.
About 15 firefighters responded with a utility truck and airboat. The Warren County Marine Team was also dispatched.
Firefighters put on special rescue gear and walked out onto the ice.
“When we got there, there were some civilians attempting to get a watercraft into the water for rescue,” LaGoy said.
Firefighters pulled the man from the water while the department’s airboat was launched remotely to the spot where the victim had fallen through. The man and the rescuers boarded the boat and returned to the shore.
The North Queensbury Fire Department assisted in launching a hovercraft in case it was needed. Also assisting at the scene were the Lake George, Bay Ridge and Horicon fire departments.
The man was taken to Glens Falls Hospital for evaluation. LaGoy did not believe he was injured.
Nick Sumner, owner of Bob’s Bait Shop in Corinth, had called 911 to report the incident. He said he knew that with the extremely cold temperatures, people would be clamoring to get out on the lake.
“I know how crazy everybody is for ice fishing,” he said.
Sumner said he was watching multiple cameras that offer views of the lake when he noticed the man fishing. He took a screenshot and was about to text a picture to his friend when, the next thing he knew, the man was gone. He had fallen through the ice.
Sumner estimated the man was in the icy water for about 20 to 25 minutes.
Sumner noticed another person trying to go out to save him, and he stopped when he began to fall through. That person had ice picks, so he was able to pull himself out.
Warren County spokesman Don Lehman said parts of the lake just froze over the weekend, and most of the ice is still unsafe. Because of winds and lack of extreme cold, the ice that has formed is not thick.
LaGoy said all of the rescuers were breaking through the ice in different places during the rescue.
He said it is especially dangerous to bring fishing equipment out on the ice.
“We don’t think any ice is safe, but that is very thin ice right now,” he said.