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Ice flips snowmobile onto rider on St. Lawrence River

Ice floes heaved up from the St. Lawrence River sent a snowmobile flying on Friday afternoon in Hogansburg, throwing its rider onto the ice and landing on top of him.

Hogansburg-Akwesasne Volunteer Fire Department’s Water Rescue Team made quick work of getting the man to shore and off to the hospital across the river in Cornwall, Ontario.

The rider, whose name wasn’t available, was pinned under the machine about 900 feet from Cornwall Island, Hogansburg-Akwesasne Fire Chief Clinton Jacobs said.

Jacobs and two other Water Rescue Team members, all certified as ice rescue technicians, took two airboats out to the injured man, who appeared to have a broken leg. They faced the same dangers the snowmobiler had, though, as ice floes are heaved up all over the river surface.

“It was rough,” the chief said.

It was cold, too, with temperatures in the high teens made much more frigid by the wind chill factor.

The victim was dressed for the weather, though, Jacobs said, in a snowmobile suit.

Jacobs said he doesn’t recommend snowmobiling or otherwise going out on the ice.