Rescuers grateful they were in the right place at the right time

6:09 PM, Dec 18, 2013   |    comments
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APPLETON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A man from Appleton is alive and recovering tonight, thanks to two women who came to the rescue after his tractor broke through the ice.

It happened Tuesday afternoon, as 83-year old George Stevenson was plowing snow with his tractor onto Perry Pond. Appleton Fire Chief Dave Stone says the tractor broke through and sank, with the bucket still above water.

By chance, Dora Lievow of Camden and Tree Roth of Union were skiing on a ridge across the pond. The women say they heard faint cries for help, skied toward the sound, and found Stevenson clinging to the tractor in the icy water.

Lievow says while Roth called 911, she spotted an aluminum boat on the shore. The women grabbed the boat and slid it onto the ice, then climbed in and were able to reach Stevenson. They pulled him partway into the boat, until the man said he was in pain. Chief Stone arrived at about that time, climbed into the boat and helped Roth and Lievow pull Stevenson all the way in.

They then hauled the boat off the ice and onto the shore, to meet the ambulance. Chief Stone says Stevenson was very cold and going into hypothermia, and has no doubt the women saved his life.

Stevenson is recuperating at Pen Bay Medical Center, where earlier today he was listed in stable condition.

Lievow and Roth say Stevenson allows people to hike and ski on his land, and swim in and skate on the pond. Roth called it "Karma", saying Stevenson's good deeds led to them being there when he needed them. Lievow says a minister friend called it "Providential".

Appleton firefighter Barry King, who also responded to that 911 call for help, might agree. "Really two angels just appeared out of nowhere," says King. "Why anyone was skiing up there at that moment who knows? But someone was lo0oking out for him."

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