Man dies saving son after both fall through ice on frozen Maine pond

A man in Maine has drowned while saving his four-year-old son after both of them plunged through the ice of a frozen pond.

Kevin Howell, a 51-year-old town manager for Carmel, was on a walk with his son around 6.30am (local time) on Friday when they broke through the ice on Etna Pond, located a third of a mile from their house.

Howell managed to save his son by getting him out of the water and instructed him to inform his mother, according to the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office.

The woman called 911 and rushed to the pond with an anchor and rope to rescue Howell. She secured the rope to the shore and then went to help her husband, but ended up breaking through the ice herself and was unable to get out.

Detective Jordan Norton, who responded to a 911 call, spotted Howell’s wife in the water and crawled across the ice, holding onto the rope. He was able to pull her out of the ice, but he couldn’t find her husband, the authorities said.

Divers from the warden service and state police were pressed into the search operation at around 1.40pm (local time) and found Howell’s body 20 minutes later. “The two divers located him a little before 2pm,” the Sheriff’s Office added.

Friends and community members in Carmel remembered Howell as a “wonderful guy” who moved to the small town with his wife in 2014.

Daniel Frye, the chair of the town’s Board of Selectmen told the Portland Press Herald that Howell “really believed in community”.

“That’s why he was such a perfect person for that town manager role. He always wanted to make the town better. He was a stand-out guy.”

Howell was the town manager for eight years. “He was the best fit, honestly, for a town manager,” his friend and neighbour Ethan Dysart told the newspaper.

“He always dropped everything he had going to make sure things were taken care of for the town. He really brought the community together.”

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