TORRINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — Fire crews and LifeStar responded to Burr Pond State Park to rescue six individuals who ended up in the icy pond after an ice fishing boat tipped Sunday morning.
Torrington and Winsted Fire Departments responded to reports of four people in the water around 11:07 a.m. Upon arrival, they determined that five fishermen had fallen through the ice and were stuck, and one bystander – who had attempted to assist the fishermen – was also stranded in the water.
Torrington’s Fire Chief, Peter Towey, confirmed to News 8 that four fishermen were in the boat and he belives the boat tipped because there were too many people and too much gear aboard for the weight limit of the boat and the ice.
The first crews arrived at 11:20 a.m. Members of both crews suited up in Ice Rescue Suits to traverse what Torrington FD described as “unstable and breaking ice”.
Crews report that the victims were about 100 feet offshore. All six victims were removed from the water by 11:54 a.m.
WEB EXTRA: Torrington and Winsted Fire crews clear the scene after rescuing 6 individuals who fell through the ice at Burr Pond
Two fishermen were roped to safety by fire crews and transported by ambulance for medical treatment. Their conditions are unknown.
Two Life Star helicopters responded to the scene to transport two other victims who were reported to have extreme hypothermia.
One fireman was transported to the hospital due to overexertion but is expected to be OK.
“We had a very difficult time coming back because, as we were working them back towards shore, the shelf kept breaking…and we had the weight of the victims. So we got it down to two victims that we were struggling with and the companies worked very hard at trying to get them out. Pretty exhausted by the time we got them out.”– Torrington Fire Dept. Battalion Chief Patrick Doyle
Torrington FD reports that the fishing equipment could not be retrieved due to the instability of the ice.
DEEP and Park Rangers were on scene and will be securing the area off.
“This was a very difficult and physically demanding rescue effort by all personnel involved. All personnel responded admirably to this difficult rescue incident.
The Ice is extremely unstable and must be avoided at this time. Everyone is reminded that the ice is thin and unstable due to the warm weather and are advised to remain off it.“– Torrington Fire Deptartment Chief Peter Towey