Families can have a lot of fun on the frozen ponds and lakes of Maine.  Ice fishing, skating, hockey, and more.  One thing we all need to be aware of, however, is how quickly a warm day can make the ice unsafe to be on.

That is exactly what happened on Wednesday afternoon in Cape Elizabeth.

According to News Center Maine, 14 year old Nathanael Drake was playing hockey with some friends on Cape Elizabeth's Great Pond when the ice gave way and Nathanael fell in.

Drake's quick thinking friends were the ones that called 911.  Then, they attempted to use a rope with a buoy, hung on a nearby tree for exactly this reason, to pull Nathanael from the water.  Unfortunately, they did not have any luck.

By this point, Drake had managed to pull himself onto a chunk of ice, but he could feel that his strength was draining.

Fortunately, Cape Elizabeth Police Officer Aaron Webster arrived on the scene and, after speaing with a firefighter on shore, decided he would attempt to get to the boy.  He brought a stretcher with him and, even though he fell in on his way out to Drake, pressed on,  He was able to get the stretcher close enough to the teen for him to grab on.

After arriving back on shore, Nathanael was taken to a nearby hospital to be checked out.  Even though he spent about 15 minutes in the freezing water, he was okay.

The teens were about 100 feet from shore when the incident happened and they insist they checked the ice the night before and right before they took to the ice that afternoon.  Tis should serve as another reminder that you really never know how safe the ice is and that it can change in just a few minutes.

As the weather warms, please be extra cautious on Maine's lakes and ponds.

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