Snowmobile Safety Tips 

Maine’s snowmobile season took a tragic turn this weekend, when three men lost their lives in separate accidents.Four other snowmobile crashes around the state left riders injured.Joy Hollowell headed to Hermon Pond to re-visit the do’s and don’ts of winter riding.====49-year old Matthew Divello was heading home Friday night across Graham Lake in Mariaville. His machine went through some open water on the ice. Divello’s body was found by game wardens the next day.Saturday night, 61-year old Odias Bachelder was heading to the Snodeo snowmobile parade in Rangeley. The Lang Township man was thrown from his machine on a trail in Dallas Plantation. He was killed instantly, according to wardens.Later Saturday night, 56-year old Mark Roux was snowmobiling with his son on Bill Green Pond. The Lee man crashed into some woods at the shoreline. He was pronounced dead on the way to the hospital.”The snowmobile conditions in Central Maine are poor,” says District Game Warden Rick Ouellette. “And so it’s pushing people to the ice.”Ouellette was part of the dive team at Graham Lake Saturday. He says the odds are stacked against a snowmobiler, once they go into the water.”When you experience that cold water, your body, no matter how good a swimmer you are, you are not going to be able to fight the cold temperatures,” explains Ouellette. “And if you do get out, hypothermia is going to set in very quickly.”Inexperience with the area and the machines are major contributors to crashes.”When we get a blanket of snow on the ice, or through a storm that you’re going to cross on your sled, it gives a false sense of security that it is safe,” says Ouellette. “All of our cold water lakes, our deep water lakes are not safe right now. And any warm water lake that has moving water is something to be aware of.” ++++You can find out the latest snowmobile trail conditions in maine with the click of a mouse.Just log onto sled maine dot com