GILFORD -- A man riding a fat-tire bike on the ice of Lily Pond broke through and ended up in the frigid water Wednesday afternoon and was rescued by firefighters from the Gilford and Laconia Fire Departments.
Gilford Firefighter/Paramedic Gregg Trombi, who was the first one out of the ambulance at the scene, donned a cold-water rescue suit.
Attached to a safety rope onshore manned by fellow firefighters and about six bystanders who pitched in to help, Trombi walked his way into the pond, breaking a path through the thin ice to the victim.
The man was standing about mid-torso deep near the center of the water body at the end of the Laconia Bypass, between 250 and 300 feet from shore.
"He was just very cold and not wanting to be there," recounted Trombi. "He was physically shaking and just barely able to walk," said Gilford Fire Lt. Jeff Madon noting ice conditions statewide are extremely hazardous as temperatures warm.
A crew from Lifeline Ambulance reported the victim went under water at least nine times as he repeatedly tried to pull himself onto the ice that just kept breaking. Trombi said the ice was too weak support his weight so he just kept walking, blazing a path to the victim and had him follow him back to shore.
Once in the Laconia Fire Department ambulance, the victim was stripped of his soaked sweater and pants, wrapped in blankets and taken to Lakes Region General Hospital for evaluation.
Lakes Region Mutual Fire Aid Association dispatched firefighters to the scene at 1:08 p.m. in response to a 911 call reporting a man through the ice in the water.