MA Firefighters Use Hovercraft to Rescue Hunter on Ice Island

Dec. 29, 2020
A hunter was stranded in the middle of a pond about 300 feet from shore, and a hovercraft carried a Huntington firefighter in a thermal suit out into the water to rescue the elderly man.

HUNTINGTON, MA—First responders from multiple communities and agencies on Monday teamed up to rescue a hunter who had gotten lost and found himself trapped on an ice island in the middle of a pond some 300 feet from shore, officials said.

The hunter, an elderly man whose name was not disclosed to the press, was rescued and given medical treatment, according to the Huntington office of Emergency Management. At last report, he was listed in good condition.

The man had been hunting for several hours in the area near Knightville Dam, officials said. After becoming tired, cold and wet from walking through ice and water, he found himself stranded on an ice island some 300 feet from shore.

He was able to call for help via 9-1-1, and dispatchers from Northampton Control were able to get a fix on his location in the Knightville Basin. Because of the amount of ice and debris, first responders could only reach him by foot until the road was cleared.

Huntington Emergency Management used a drone to fly out to the man to relay messages and to assess his condition, officials said.

Huntington, Northampton and Westfield firefighters all responded to the scene. The Westfield Fire hovercraft carried a Huntington firefighter in a thermal suit out into the water to rescue the hunter.

State police, Environmental police, and the Huntington Department of Public Works also assisted in the rescue.


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