MOULTONBORO, N.H. (CBS) – A man said he feels fortunate to have survived a “scary situation” after he and his cousin crashed through the ice while riding their ATVs on a New Hampshire lake.
Brandon Gilcreast is an experienced ATV rider, but was riding on ice for the first time Saturday night on Big Squam Lake in Center Harbor. He and his cousin rode to meet up with someone at a bob-house.READ MORE: New Hampshire Fish And Game Warns Of Unsafe Ice After 3 Lakes Region Incidents
While on the way back, the pair were following the shore line on the way back. Gilcreast said they believed they were following their own tracks, but soon found themselves in slush.
“My cousin fell through first. He was right in front of me. So when he fell through, I kind of went right in next,” Gilcreast told WBZ-TV. “Next thing I know I was swimming for the ice.”
Gilcreast’s cousin was able to quickly get back onto the ice. But for about a minute, Gilcreast found himself unable to get out of the 6-7 feet of water and onto the ice.
“I was trying to get on the ice and it kept breaking. I wasn’t having much luck getting out of the water. He grabbed my hood and pulled me out so he pretty much saved me,” Gilcreast said.
Once back on shore, the pair was still not out of trouble.READ MORE: 2 Massachusetts Residents Seriously Hurt In Separate NH Snowmobile Crashes
They were about 1.2 miles away from their truck. It was dark, and they were wet and freezing.
“It was pretty scary. I kept thinking about my wife and kids. It was the coldest I’ve ever been. It was just really scary,” Gilcreast said.
Once back at their vehicle, the cousins had to break into their trailer where they had dry clothes and a heater. Because their keys were in the sunken ATVs, they had to wait until Gilcreast’s wife arrived nearly two hours later.
They didn’t need medical attention thanks to the supplies they had in their trailer, Gilcreast said.
New Hampshire Fish and Game responded to multiple similar incidents over the weekend. Fish and Game officials said they have seen an increase in incidents this year, possibly because more people are out on snowmobiles and ATVs while they look for something to do during the COVID pandemic.MORE NEWS: Snowmobile Crash Leaves Watertown Man Seriously Hurt
“This was our first time doing the ice thing. Probably won’t do it again,” said Gilcreast with a laugh. “If you’re going to go out on the ice, make sure you know what you’re doing. Try to be with someone experienced and just be prepared.”