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70-year-old N.B. man dies after falling through thin ice on ATV

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A 70-year-old man from Passekeag, N.B., has died after falling through thin ice on an all-terrain vehicle this past weekend.

A resident from Rothesay’s Kennebecasis Park neighbourhood called 911 just before 3:30 p.m. Sunday, after seeing the incident happen on the Kennebecasis River.

“They saw the operator of the four-wheeler try to get out of the water,” says Deputy Fire Chief Shawn White of the Kennebecasis Valley Fire Department.

White says information from the 911 caller helped rescuers locate the man, but ice conditions prevented them from making contact for about an hour.

“It was a very challenging rescue because as the crews were going out onto the ice they continued to fall through,” says White. “The ice was very shallow.”

“It was also very labour intensive because of the condition of the ice.”

Members of the fire department were able to get the man out of the water, but he wasn’t responsive. The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax sent a Cormorant helicopter from CFB Greenwood to transport the man from the river to hospital.

“Once recovered, the man was transported to the hospital in Saint John where he was pronounced deceased,” says Sgt. Luc Samson of the Hampton RCMP detachment. “An autopsy will be conducted to determine the exact cause of death.”

The man’s identity has not been released.

White says the fire department tends to respond to ice rescues on this particular part of the Kennebecasis River because strong currents make it difficult for the water to freeze substantially.

Lead Commander Len Hickey of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax tells CTV News the ice depth on this part of the Kennebecasis River was about three inches (or eight centimetres) on Sunday afternoon.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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