WORCESTER (CBS) – John Barber says it was a morning he’ll never forget, after helping first responders rescue two men who fell through ice on Lake Quinsigamond.
A Worcester medical student, Barber said the two men “were screaming help from the water.”
“I was up in my apartment and I heard them, so I came out,” he said.
Emergency calls came in from residents on Lake Avenue on Saturday afternoon.
With temperatures in the teens, Barber and his neighbor jumped into action, and dusted the snow off their kayaks.
“I grabbed a kayak over here and went out with some rope,” he said.
They paddled out on the lake and began pulling two middle-aged men out of the water. Barber said the pair had skates on their feet.
Firefighters arrived a short time later, and between the Good Samaritans, police and firefighters, the men were pulled to safety.
“They were very cold. They weren’t saying too much. I think they were trying to stay warm,” he said.
It didn’t take long for the fire department and their scuba team to arrive. Worcester Deputy Fire Chief John Sullivan says it was a speedy rescue, taking all of five minutes.
“We basically got out to the kayak, tied a rope onto that and pulled everybody across the ice and onto the shore,” Sullivan said.
First responders could be seen covering the men in blankets, before loading them in up the ambulance.
The men are expected to be OK.
And what were they doing on the lake? It appears they were playing a friendly game of hockey.
They had skates on, and their stick and puck were out on the ice when emergency crews arrived.