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Berlin man rescued after crashing snowmobile through Umbagog Lake ice

ERROL — Conservation officers say a Berlin man suffered non-life threatening injuries after crashing a snowmobile through the ice on Umbagog Lake.

According to Region One Conservation Officer Matthew Holmes, around 7:30 p.m. rescue personnel responded to Umbagog Lake on a report of a man crashing his snowmobile through the snow-covered ice.

According to Holmes, Keith Filteau, 29, of Berlin was returning to his family’s camp after fueling up in Errol and riding across Umbagog Lake, when he hit a plowed embankment where a bob house had been located. Filteau was thrown from the machine and onto the ice, where he used a flashlight as a beacon to summon help from family members staying at his camp, who called 911.

At the time of the crash, all available Errol Fire and Rescue personnel were assisting with another snowmobile crash in the Atkinson and Gilmanton Academy Grant. Instead, rescuers from the Colebrook Fire Department and 45th Parallel EMS handled the mutual aid request, along with state troopers and state Fish and Game Department conservation officers.

Filteau was rescued and transported by 45th Parallel EMS to Androscoggin Valley Hospital in Berlin for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

Holmes said conservation officers praised the Filteau family with having a plan in place to respond to an emergency. According to Holmes, family members knew the route Filteau was using and what time he expected to return. They were watching for him when they saw the “S.O.S.” beacon from his flashlight.

“Keith was alone at the time of the crash and had it not been for someone paying attention it is likely that he would not have been discovered for a prolonged period of time,” said Holmes in a release.

Conservation officers believe speed and unforeseen hazards on the lake were the chief contributing causes of the crash. Alcohol was not a factor.


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