Two Snowmobilers Break Through Ice Near Spindle Point

Ossipee — February 16, 2009 — The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department says two snowmobilers broke through thin ice on Ossipee Lake and least one of them was in the water for about a half-hour. The two were part of a group of four traveling near Spindle Point on the lake late Sunday night.

The first two made it safely; but the ice cracked for 45-year-old Donna Beaudoin of Taunton, Mass., and 55-year-old Fred Williams of Vineyard Haven, Mass.

Fish and Game officer Alex Lopashanski says Williams’ machine didn’t completely sink and he was able to come to Beaudoin’s aid before going through the ice, too. Nearby campers threw out an inflatable device for them to hold onto.

Lopashanski said Beaudoin was in lake about 30 minutes. She was in stable condition at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center on Monday. Williams was treated and released from a hospital.

Firefighters said the lake was about 40 feet deep in the area.

View WMUR-TV’s report here.


  1. miguel diocuore 15 years ago February 16, 2009


    Avoid snowmobiling on ice if you’re not sure how thick it is or what condition it is in. Use designated ice surfaces (many communities have designated ponds or outdoor ice surfaces for activities such as skating) that are maintained by knowledgeable personnel. Measure ice thickness in several locations. The recommended minimum ice thickness for new, clear, hard ice is:

    3” (7 cm) or less stay off
    4” (10 cm) : ice fishing, walking, cross-county skiing
    5” (12 cm) snowmobile or ATV
    8-12” (20-30) small car or pick-up
    12-15” (30-38 cm) pickup or van

  2. Dianne 15 years ago February 16, 2009

    Nice information from Miguel but not too realistic for snowmobilers.
    This happened directly across from my house last night. I went onto the porch and heard the man asking for help. At that point I knew that rescue was on the way. It was very scary to watch and listen, but as usual the rescue did a great job and these people survived. Rescue and Medstar arrived in a timely manner and did what they do best. Save people from themselves.
    In the seven winters I have been here this is the second time sleds have gone in at that spot.
    People need to know the lake before they go out at night and ride in an area that does not skim over every winter. The river runs through there and no one who knows the lake ever ventures onto that part of the lake. This is a very tricky lake and people need to be aware of the river!
    So glad it all turned out well. These people are very lucky.

  3. John 15 years ago February 16, 2009

    I see people riding on the lake in areas where they shouldn’t be all the time. Riders need to be aware of where the inlets and outlets are as well as the currents that keep the ice from getting tick enough to support the weight of a snowmobile. If you are not 100% familiar with the lake you should NEVER attempt to navigate by snowmobile at night.

    Here is a link to a map that shows the known areas to avoid. You will see the area where the two snowmobiles went through near Spindle Point is marked with red X’s on the map.

  4. David Chandler 15 years ago February 18, 2009

    I have uploaded several videos of divers removing snowmobile thru the ice on Spindle Point.
    You can view the videos on and search Ossipee Lake Spindle Point.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *