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Officials: Snowmobiler, water-skier charged in lake stunt

  • A screenshot taken from a video allegedly shows Jory Vachon pulling Patrick Keefer behind a snowmobile this weekend on Lake Winnipesaukee. YouTube



Associated Press
Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Two Meredith men have been arrested after state officials say one of them was driving a snowmobile at high speeds on an icy lake while pulling the other on skis.

The state Department of Fish and Game says 28-year-old Jory Vachon was riding a snowmobile at a high rate of speed on Lake Winnipesaukee over the weekend and pulling 32-year-old Patrick Keefer.

“It’s insane,” New Hampshire Fish and Game Col. Kevin Jordan told the Laconia Daily Sun. “There are no safety measures you can take to prepare yourself for 30-degree water. What angers me is that it is one thing to disregard your own safety, but stunts like that put others in danger. When they fall, I’ve got to put at risk guys with families to save them.”

A video of the stunt, shared on several social media sites, has been posted on YouTube and has garnered over 10,000 views.

Vachon has been charged with disorderly conduct and skimming, or riding a snowmobile over open water at high speeds. Keefer is charged with disorderly conduct. Each could face fines of up to $1,500. Both declined to comment.

An online fundraiser has been created to pay the fines.

The incident comes amid rising concerns about snowmobile safety in New England.

Ten snowmobilers have died in thinly frozen lakes across the Northeast during this mild winter.

In New Hampshire, a 15-year-old boy drowned but his father was rescued after their snowmobiles fell through ice on Lake Winnipesaukee on Feb. 11. The same day, two men in their 60s died after their snowmobiles went through ice on a different part of the lake. A 54-year-old man was rescued by friends when his snowmobile fell through ice on the Piscataquog River on Jan. 21.