Water Rescue In Luzerne County

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ROSS TOWNSHIP -- Two men were pulled from Harris Pond in Luzerne County after falling through the ice Friday night.

Crews said the men were ice fishing on the pond, when the ice broke, and the two fell into frigid water.

"Responded and found there was two of them through the ice, and there was another person that found and was talking to them, they both seemed to be ok, still talking," said Deputy Chief Stan Davis of Sweet Valley Fire Company.

A man who came to check out the pond noticed the trouble and tried to help.

Rescuers said the men were in that water for more than an hour before being pulled out with the help of boats and a special ice rescue skid.

"We had a hard time getting them out because the ice was honeycombed. There were a lot of fishing holes out there. They told me, and it was honeycombed so evidently they stepped someplace and they went through," said Chief Robert Walsh of Sweet Valley Ambulance.

The men were airlifted to a hospital.

Harris Pond is managed by the state Fish and Boat Commission and open for public boating and fishing, but officials warn to stay away when there is water surrounding the ice on the pond or when the ice looks white.

"At least half of the rescuers that were out on the ice ended up going through. Fortunately with the suits that we have, the wet suits, they're able to not be as affected by the cold water," said Deputy Chief Davis.


  • beth

    Great jod guys this message is to janet im alsoin the ems feild and we r highly traind in what we do and we love and breath what we do so great jod

  • steveforgues

    As one of the rescuers involved, I can assure you we are not amateurs. We have the same state required certifications as a paid department. Please don’t Monday night quarterback things you don’t have knowledge of. Because of the location on the ice, additional equipment and personnel were required and necessary to go on the ice. We do not go onto the ice or into any other water rescue incident without wearing the proper equipment.
    The main thing is that the victims were rescued and all personnel returned home safe.

    • Kat

      Great job out there Steve! Your family and friends and I’m sure the victims and their family and friends, THANK YOU for your efforts and your success!

  • Scott Smith


    You are right. I was driving past the pond and saw the flashing lights. As I slowed to pass, I noticed at least a dozen people on the ice. If the ice is weak enough for one or two people to fall through, it’s certainly weak enough for the parade of so-called rescues to fall in. Why in the world does everyone feel the need to rush out onto the ice? I think you said it best, amateurs.

    • HFB

      all the rescuers are cert. thru the Commonwealth, they where far from amateurs, they did a very good job and Kudos to the rescues teams for a Job Well Done!!

    • Jim Brony

      Did the article say the rescuers needed rescuing? No! What have you done for your community Scott? Instead of criticizing, how about lending all you have to offer since you could do so much better than these ‘amateurs’. If if weren’t for them, two men would be dead today because lookie-loos like you would just stand around and say ‘someone needs to do something’. Lead or help, or get the hell out of the way and shut your mouth.

      • James

        Jim, I know better enough to stay off the ice because I don’t have the training. Probably a practice some of those amatures should practice.

    • Jim Brony

      Yes, the outcome could have been worse. The ‘amateur rescuers’ could have not showed up at all and two men would be dead now. But thanks to them and no thanks to you they have a chance of recovery. Do us all a favor, either help the cause or shut up.

    • Jim Brony

      Do you have a video comprehension deficiency Janet, or are you just an idiot? Of course, judging from your posting time of 3:14 AM, you’re probably still high from your night out. Professionals? Please tell me what professionals would you call? All the first responders were wearing special protective gear, and they had a special piece of rescue equipment out on the ice. Not to wish ill towards you, but I hope you never need help from these ‘amateurs’ if you would crash your car from a night out on the town. So what should they have done? Just leave the people that needed rescue out there until ‘real’ help arrives? Crawl back in your bottle.

      • Robert


        Were all the rescuers that were on the ice connected to a line? One of those scenes where everyone wants to be the hero. What should have been done? I would have performed the rescue in a much safer matter and I would have definetly called in a more advanced team.

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