Rick Crowe wanted to do the right thing. His conscience couldn’t let him watch a deer freeze to death out on Long Lake. The deer had fallen through the ice. The 63-year-old tried to come to the animal’s rescue. Strapping on a life jacket, Crowe waded out onto the semi-frozen lake in his canoe.
But Crowe found himself in a life or death battle when his canoe overturned. Crowe fell into the icy waters as a result. Acting fast, his wife Tina called Game Warden Brad Richard for help. Richard, who was in the area, came to Crowe’s rescue. The life jacket kept Crowe afloat. But he risked hypothermia and freezing.
Game Warden Rescues Man and Retrieves Deer
Richard, along with Princeton Fire Chief Tony Ramsdell and Firefighter Chris McPhee, retrieved the Warden Service Airboat. He also notified the local police and emergency services of the situation. Using the airboat, the trio crossed the lake to get to Crowe’s location. Ramsdell donned a cold water rescue suit to save the would-be rescuer.
When he was pulled from the water, Crowe was conscious but hypothermic. His body temperature was around 89 degrees on the way to the hospital. Crowe’s rescuers took him back to the local airport on the boat where an ambulance waited. Crowe then went to the local hospital where he was treated.
“Game wardens remind everyone that the ice this year can be treacherous, as warm weather and rains in December has left many lakes and ponds with far less ice than normal,” the game warden said in a press release. “Game Wardens remind everyone to check ice thickness before heading out for any activity.”
Later, Richard and the others managed to retrieve the canoe and brought the deer to shore as well.