April 05, 2020

Alna family escapes injury > Nequasset Lake ice breaks under snowmobilers

WOOLWICH — Robert Hull counted his family’s blessings Tuesday as friends helped haul his sunken snowmobile from the 20-foot-deep bottom of Nequasset Lake.

Hull, his wife and their young son escaped injury the previous day as the machine broke through the ice about 100 feet from shore after they headed onto the lake for an afternoon of ice fishing.

“I’m lucky to be alive,” said the Alna man, who was driving across the ice Monday with his wife in tow on a dog sled and his young son on the snowmobile.

Hull said he checked to make sure the ice was frozen solid before he ventured onto it with the snowmobile.

Two ice shanties sat on the lake within view of where the ice broke under the combined weight of the snowmobile and dog sled.

The back of the dog sled slipped into the lake, and water reached his wife’s chest before she managed to scurry to safety.

“All of a sudden I could feel the snowmobile sink down, and I could see my wife getting ready to do the breast stroke,” Hull recalled.

He came back to the snowmobile with a friend about an hour later and tied ropes to the sled to pull it out of the water. But the rest of the ice gave way, he said, and he jumped out of the way in the nick of time.

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