OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - An 8-year-old boy died Sunday night after
he fell through ice on a partially frozen lake and was submerged
about an hour.
A second boy, 10-year-old Nicholas McLoota of Ocean City, also
fell through the ice and was quickly rescued by a police officer
and a paramedic who jumped into the water to pull him out. He had
been in the water for about three minutes, police said.
He was taken by ambulance to Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin
but later was flown to University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center
in Baltimore, Ocean City police spokesman Barry Neeb told The
(Salisbury) Daily Times.
He was in critical condition late Sunday, police said.
The younger boy, Sam Wilkinson, was underwater 65 minutes before
rescuers found him, Neeb said. He was flown to Peninsula Regional
Medical Center in Salisbury, where he later died.
"They were able to get the one boy and went back for the
second," Neeb said. "They got an article of his clothing but he
was no longer in it. He already had submerged."
The boys were chasing a ball across the ice on a manmade lake at
Northside Park at about 5:30 p.m. when they fell through, said
Ocean City police Sgt. Regina Custer. An adult saw the boys fall
and called 911, Neeb said.
Their parents, who were watching an indoor lacrosse league
practice at the park's recreation center, stood at the lake's edge
as rescuers searched for the younger boy.
A lacrosse stick was seen lying on the surface of the lake.
Neeb described the patchy ice as "treacherous."
"If you or I looked at it, we wouldn't dream of going on it,"
Neeb said. "Some of the edges were still unfrozen. But kids look
at it and think they can make it."
A crowd of about 50 people gathered around the lake as 50 rescue
workers searched for the 8-year-old, Neeb said. Divers from Ocean
City and Millville, Del., helped in the search, and rescue workers
floated in inflatable boats and used long poles to break the ice.
Firefighters extended their ladders over the water and used
thermal imaging cameras, Neeb said. The lake is about 100 feet wide
and ranges in depth from six to 20 feet, he said.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)