Police save men from ice floe Second rescue performed in 2 days


State police yesterday rescued two Pasadena men who were stranded on an ice floe about 300 yards from the banks of the Patapsco River for more than three hours.

A state police helicopter hovered over the slab of ice near the mouth of Rock Creek about 1 p.m. while three troopers used a basket and hoist to take Larry Estell Jr., 34, and Thomas Ward, 25, to safety.

The men, whom police did not identify further, were taken to Sunset Elementary School in the 8500 block of Fort Smallwood Road. Neither was injured, police said.

The ice rescue was the second that state troopers had performed in two days.

Tuesday, troopers rescued two Harford County firefighters who had taken a boat into the Gunpowder River to help a man stranded on floating ice. A second Fire Department boat rescued the man, police said.

The Maryland Natural Resources Police department is warning people to stay off ice on lakes, ponds and rivers. Although subfreezing temperatures over the past few days have created a lot of ice, warmer temperatures expected today and tomorrow will make the ice thinner and more likely to crack.

"A person falling through the ice can succumb to the effects of the cold water within five minutes," said Col. John Rhodes, superintendent of the Natural Resources Police.

"It can be difficult, if not impossible in many cases, to extricate yourself from water that is only chest deep after falling through ice," he said.

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