A man was found wading in Lake Nippenicket in Bridgewater this morning after he drove his snowmobile onto the ice and into the water, fire and police department officials said.
Shortly after 6 a.m., a resident of Lakeside Drive, a street that runs along the shore, reported seeing a snowmobile's lights in the water, the spot where the man was later found wading about 200 or more feet offshore, fire and police department officials said.
“Several neighbors actually commented that they were surprised a snowmobile was on the ice because half the lake was not frozen,” Bridgewater Fire Chief George Rogers said.
The man, who police identified as Joseph McCourt, 33, of Raynham, told firefighters he had been wading for about two hours, but Rogers said he it was more likely he had been in the water for about 30 minutes.
Firefighter George Hogg, wearing a rescue suit and tethered to shore, swam to the man. Hogg convinced the victim to let him bring him to shore and tied the rope around him, Rogers said.
Bridgewater police officers and firefighters pulled Hogg and the man to shore within 10 minutes, and the man was transported to Brockton Hospital with injuries caused by the cold water.
Bridgewater firefighters had training at the lake about two weeks ago, where incidents like this are not unfamiliar territory, Rogers said.
“We have had several medical emergencies and incidents like this throughout the last 20 years," he said.
Bridgewater police and Massachusetts Environmental Police are investigating.
On the beat
Columnist Shirley Leung says Boston mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh should focus on middle-class housing. Read more