NETCONG BOROUGH, NJ (Morris County) – Three people were rescued from Lake Musconetcong on Sunday after they fell through the ice, the Netcong Fire Department said in a Facebook post.
On January 16, at around 4:56 p.m., Netcong Borough Police Officer Paonessa responded to Lake Musconetcong for the report of a vehicle and person falling through the ice. Upon the officer’s arrival, there were 2-3 people on the ice pointing in the direction of where the person went through, about 300 yards away, authorities said.
As Officer Paonessa was directing people to return to shore, a man, later identified as James Best, fell through the ice 40 yards away from the officer. As Paonessa made his way to Best, he tried to pull him from the water. After several failed attempts, Paonessa was able to retrieve a rope from Stanhope Police Officer Robert Popelka and pull Best from the water, authorities said.
A few seconds later, a female, later identified as Emma Ike, fell through the ice, and as Paonessa made his way to Ike, Officer Popelka was within 20 yards. Officer Popelka threw a rescue rope to Ike to hold onto. A few moments later, Assistant Fire Chief Raymond Bock Jr from the Netcong Borough Fire Department and Captain Derek Kuncken from Stanhope/Netcong First Aid Squad were able to assist in pulling Ike from the water and brought her to shore, authorities said.
Netcong Fire Department and Stanhope/Netcong First Aid Squad jointly rescued the third victim using Ice Rescue equipment. The equipment included ice rescue suits and a rescue sled. They utilized this equipment to make their way out to the initial victim who had fallen through the ice on his motorcycle. The victim was approximately 300 yards from the shoreline, authorities said.
The Netcong Fire Department and Stanhope/Netcong First Aid Squad were then able to retrieve the victim, later identified as Rodrigo Oborski. Officer Popelka, Officer Paonessa, and several other first responders pulled Oborski from the icy water and brought him to the shore, authorities said.
Two victims refused medical assistance and the third was transported to a nearby hospital, authorities said.