Game wardens saved a hypothermic man from the icy waters of a Washington County lake on Monday after his canoe overturned while he was attempting to rescue a deer.

Rick Crowe of Princeton saw a deer that had fallen through the ice on Long Lake and attempted to use a canoe to reach the animal and help it ashore. But the canoe overturned and Crowe, who was wearing a lifejacket at the time, was thrown into the frigid lake shortly after 8:30 a.m. Monday.

Crowe’s wife, Tina Crowe, immediately called a nearby game warden, who retrieved a state-owned airboat parked at the nearby Princeton airport. He was joined by local fire department personnel, including Princeton Fire Chief Tony Ramsdell, who put on a cold-water suit and jumped in to pull out Crowe.

Crowe was conscious but extremely hypothermic, game wardens said. When he was brought ashore to an awaiting ambulance, paramedics found Crowe’s body temperature had fallen to 89 degrees.

After Crowe was transported to Calais Regional Hospital, the warden and firefighters went back for his canoe. They also rescued the deer that had drawn Crowe out onto the thin ice in the first place.

 


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