Boston Globe

Tuftonboro’s Airboat Rescue – why aren’t there more on the lake?

Last month, on Feb 11th we had the deadliest day on Lake Winnipsaukee’s history. 3 people died when their snowmobiles went though the ice. Officials knew it was more dangerous than usual and with the ice fishing derby in Meredith traffic on the lake was a lot higher than usual.  Warmer temperatures earlier in the week had thawed areas of the lake (some even completely thawed), then cold weather for a few days creating areas of thin ice where it was thawed, then snow to cover and hide the thin areas.  Warnings were posted but clearly people either didn’t hear the warnings or ignored them.

 

Tuftonboro FD’s airboat rescue was one of only two stationed on the lake that day (the other was temporarily stationed in Meredith – the north side of the lake). They responded to multiple calls from Moultonborough to Alton (roughly 2/3 of the largest lake in New Hampshire).

 

First, I’d like to say that Tuftonboro’s airboat rescue team DID save lives that day.  There is no doubt.  Sadly, though, lives were lost and it rises the question – what about all the other towns on the lake?

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