- Associated Press - Monday, January 12, 2015

LACONIA, N.H. (AP) - Two snowmobilers have been rescued from Lake Winnisquam, with rescuers swimming in the water about 200 feet in the dark before finding him.

By that time, 25-year-old Andrew Grant of Belmont had been in the water with only his head exposed for about 50 minutes Sunday night.

Grant was eventually pulled out of the water and loaded onto a rescue sled and carried back to shore. He spent the night in the hospital for hypothermia.

Fish and Game officers said Grant was ahead of his friend, 22-year-old Terry Threlfall of Lochmere, heading from their bobhouse at Ahern State Park to the Belmont Town Beach. Grant was traveling on snow-covered ice when he noticed the ice was black and tried to turn around, but went through. He ended up in an open channel and got his helmet off, which he used to stay afloat.

Threlfall slowed down to see what happened, but his snowmobile went through the ice, too. He was able to get back onto the ice, walk to a home and call 911. He returned to Grant’s location with a personal floatation device and a rope, but couldn’t reach him.

Officers said the distance from shoreline to the open channel was 1,400 feet, about a quarter of a mile.

“These young men were very luck,” Sgt. Bradley Morse of the Fish and Game Department said. “The outcome could have bene a lot worse if it weren’t for the quick response on the part of the Laconia Fire and Rescue team.”

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