Four Massachusetts firefighters in survival suits swam and fought their way through the frozen surface of a pond to rescue a 27-year-old man who had fallen through the ice while walking home in the dark.
Rescuers and neighbors could hear Jason Dubois' cries for help but could not initially see him in the dark at 2 a.m. Sunday as he was treading water in Whitman's Pond in Weymouth.
"It was very disturbing. He was saying, 'I'm going down. Don't let me die.' It was really scary," neighbor John Volta said. "I just grabbed the canoe and went off like on a skateboard out to him and then the ice started to crack, so I just pushed it as far as I could and then the fireman came up beside me."
The police and fire departments received many phone calls early Sunday that someone was yelling for help on the surface of the frozen pond, The Patriot-Ledger of Quincy, Mass., reported.
The rescue crews found Dubois about 100 yards offshore, The Patriot-Ledger said. Lt. Tom McGrath and firefighters Tom Bellew, Jim Shea and Anthony Diauto suited up in survival outfits and began crossing the ice, pulling a boat, the paper reported.
When they were about 65 yards out, the ice broke and they went into the water and ultimately pulled Dubois to safety, The Patriot-Ledger said.
Dubois was treated for hypothermia and released from a local hospital.
Authorities say they were lucky to have the canoe to help the rescue. A fire station near the pond has an ice boat, but the station was closed because of budget constraints.