Milford,MA Man Trapped Under Snowmobile for 20 Hours is Rescued in Maine
April 4, 2013
A 64-year-old resident of Milford MA was
rescued Wednesday after searchers in northern Maine found him trapped underneath
an overturned snowmobile. He had been trapped for about 20 hours.
Paul Lessard was reported missing about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday by a friend after he failed to return from a snowmobile ride. He had been gone since about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Lessard was found about 8 a.m. Wednesday by a man and and his son who own a local Arctic Cat outlet, according to a report in the Bangor Daily News. The temperature at the time was 8 degrees. He was taken to a hospital in northern Maine with conditions including hypothermia.
The search area by Wednesday covered 1,000 square-miles. Lessard was found about 1.5 miles off a groomed snowmobile track, in a ditch on a discontinued logging road, said Sgt. Jeff Spencer of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Two wardens had searched Tuesday night, by the next morning, six more and an airplane, as well as town volunteers, were ready to help.
Mr Lessard, had overturned the machine and landed in a watery ditch adjacent to the trail after setting off for a ride near Black lake in Maine's St John Plantation on Tuesday morning. He was eventually found by Phil Corriveau, owner of the local Arctic Cat snowmobile dealership, and his son Tyler, who had volunteered to join the search. Speaking to Maine's Bangor Daily News, Mr Corriveau said: 'We saw a track that went in but that did not come back out. 'I was pretty sure it was an Arctic Cat track, so I told my son, "Letís go see." We could not see Lessard at all, The sled was on top of him.
'He moved his arm and said, "you found me.Ē We told him to hang on.' Tyler Corriveau called wardens on his cellphone and the two men attempted to move the sled to free Lessard, but it was too heavy. They managed to shovel away enough snow to free Lessardís head. Mr Corriveau added: 'Itís just plain luck we found him there. "
It was only 8 degrees this morning" Spencer said. "He's
very lucky to be alive."
Now recovering at a hospital in Bangor, Lessard said Thursday morning he prayed through the night and was confident he would be found by the Maine Wardens. He broke no bones, and was conscious when his rescuers found him.
"I have faith in God and I have faith in the Maine wardens," said Lessard, who is known as "Moses." He's a popular fixture in the Milford parades, as a Viet Nam veteran.
"I'll be marching in the Memorial Day parade," he said Thursday.
Lessard said he was dressed for the cold ó four layers ó and knew he'd be OK if he kept himself awake. He was protected, he said, because he fell into a ditch, and the snowmobile covered him from some of the wind. The machine had pinned his leg, however, so he couldn't get out from under it.
He's been snowmobiling for 36 years, Lessard said, and spends the winters in that area so is familiar with the trails.
Lessard was expected to be discharged from the hospital Thursday. "I'm in tip-top shape," he reported.
Survivor: Paul Lessard,
64, spent 20 hours trapped underneath his snowmobile before being
rescued by volunteers Phil Corriveau and his son Tyler.
Mr Lessard crashed as he rode his snowmobile near Black Lake, close to the Canadian border in Maine