An MDI man and two 12-year-old girls are being treated for hypothermia after their snowmobile went through the ice on Long Pond.

The Maine Warden Service says 43-year-old Eli Strauss, his 12-year-old daughter Julia, and her 12-year-old friend Jolie Beal headed out early in the afternoon on Somes Pond, near their home on Oak Hill Road. Strauss was pulling the girls on a tube behind the sled when all three went into the water on Long Pond. Wardens say the trio swam to shore, despite the frigid water.

Maine Warden Service
Maine Warden Service

About 4:30 in the afternoon, Strauss's wife Robin went looking for the group and, when she found only the tube and rope, notified authorities. Wardens heard someone yelling and found Strauss in the woods, where he had been walking for help. Officials say he was so hypothermic that, when they found him, he could no longer walk on his own. He had left the two girls behind to wait for help to arrive.

All three were treated for hypothermia at Mount Desert Island Hospital in Bar Harbor, where their prognosis is said to be good. The snowmobile remains in Long Pond until arrangements can be made to remove it from the area's water supply. Wardens will return the area to take photos so they can better understand the ice conditions on Long Pond. They say the incident is a harsh reminder that ice travel on any body of water at any time needs to be done with a high level of precaution.

The Warden Service was assisted in the rescue by police, fire and rescue crews, and ambulance crews from Bar Harbor, Mount Desert, and Southwest Harbor.


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