EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 31, 2013

Firefighters use hovercraft to search Round Pond

By Mike LaBella

---- — HAVERHILL — Police and firefighters raced to Round Pond yesterday evening after a 911 caller reported that someone had fallen through the ice.

Police and fire dispatch received the call at 4:33 p.m., sending rescue teams from the 16th Avenue fire station and Water Street fire station to the Lawrence Street side of the pond, where the caller said someone had fallen through the ice. The search began with firefighters scanning the surface of the pond using binoculars, said fire Lt. Peter Schena.

Schena said Engine 2 from the 16th Ave. station along with Rescue 1 and a hovercraft from the Water Street station were involved in the search under the command of Fire Deputy Robert O’Brien.

Firefighters in a hovercraft began searching for signs of breaks in the ice in the area of the water pumping station on the Lawrence Street side of the pond, then expanded their search across the pond to the Concord Street side. Schena said they were unable to find any breaks in the ice, which he said would have indicated someone may have fallen through. Rescue workers did come across several frozen-over ice fishing holes, Schena said.

He did not have an estimate as to the thickness of the ice on the pond yesterday.

“There was no indication of anyone going through the ice,” Schena said shortly after 5 p.m. as rescue workers were preparing to clear the scene.