HAVERHILL — Roland Soucy planned to fish at Plug Pond yesterday. Instead, the 70-year-old Bradford resident cast his line in Round Pond, and helped save someone’s life.
Soucy arrived around 7:50 for a morning of fishing near the boat ramp on Stanley Drive, a dead end street off of Lawrence Street that runs along the south side of the pond.
On the opposite shore, 27-year-old Josh Lowman was fishing, hoping to catch some of the trout the state had recently stocked.
Then Soucy looked out to the middle of the pond, and saw a man in a boat also getting ready to fish.
“I was just setting up my rods and thinking, what a lucky guy to be in a boat, and that he’ll get all the fish,” Soucy said. “Suddenly, he shifted around in his boat, tried to compensate, then his legs went up into the air and he fell into the water.”
Soucy shouted to a man who’d just left his home near the boat ramp, telling him to call 911. The resident did so, and also got into his kayak to assist the floundering fisherman.
At first Lowman thought the commotion in the water was a big fish.
“When I looked I saw a boat go up in the air and guy in the water struggling to hold on,” said Lowman, who lives in Somerville and was in the area visiting in-laws. “I called 911 but they told me someone else had already called and help was on its way. The water was very cold and I didn’t think he could have held on for long.”
While waiting for a rescue team to arrive, Soucy watched as the fisherman struggled to hold onto his boat, a roughly 8-foot long metal pram with a plastic seat and oars.