MARLBOROUGH — Officials say a Marlborough resident died after falling through the ice on Meetinghouse Pond, in an attempt to rescue his dog.
The N.H. Fish and Game Department announced the incident Friday evening in a joint news release with Marlborough police.
Fish and Game Lt. William Boudreau said the resident’s name wouldn’t be released until family members are notified, but he confirmed that the victim was an adult.
A friend of the victim called Marlborough police Friday at around 8:30 a.m., and asked for a welfare check because the resident hadn’t been heard from since Thursday at 4 p.m., according to the news release.
Police began a search based on information from the caller and asked neighbors where the resident typically walked his dog.
“They provided a list of areas frequented by the missing party, and immediately began searching themselves on foot,” according to the release.
Some of those neighbors found a “suspicious hole” in the ice on Meetinghouse Pond, 49 yards from the shore. Dog and human tracks were spotted near the opening, and examination with binoculars “revealed what appeared to be a deceased dog,” the release states.
Police surmise the victim’s dog — a golden retriever, according to Boudreau — wandered onto the ice and fell through, prompting its owner to try to rescue the animal with a pine limb. In the process, however, the dog’s owner broke through the ice and drowned in about 12 feet of water, according to the release. Boudreau said this likely happened Thursday, sometime after 5 p.m.
Ice rescue teams with the Jaffrey fire and Troy police departments recovered the deceased dog, according to the release. The Fish and Game Dive Team recovered the missing resident’s body Friday at around 6:30 p.m., Boudreau said.
Noting that the ice this time of year is “extremely dangerous,” Boudreau advised anyone who runs into a similar scenario with a pet to call 911 and wait for assistance from trained professionals.
Along with Fish and Game, Marlborough police and fire departments and responders from Troy and Jaffrey, Harrisville police and fire, the Cheshire County Sheriff’s Office and Rescue Inc. joined the search effort.