Good Samaritans pulled a man out of a Hampstead pond on Sunday after his ATV fell through the ice.

John Tarquinio, 65, of Salem, Massachusetts was riding on Wash Pond around 3:55 p.m. when the ice gave way and caused a head injury as he went into the water, according to NH Fish and Game.

Operator inexperience is likely to blame for the incident according to Fish & Game, as Tarquinio was not wearing a helmet or eye protection. Tarquinio was taken to Parkland Medical Center in Derry.

Ice Safety Guide
Ice Safety Guide (Hampstead Fire-Rescue & Emergency Management)

Hampstead Fire-Rescue & Emergency Management said there are several factors that determine whether ice is safe or not. The department advised there should be 8-10 inches of bluish black ice and to never assume that the ice is safe.

Check the ice conditions prior to going on to the ice, as they are variable and can change rapidly.

Additional tips if you or someone else goes through the ice:

  • If a person falls through the ice, don't panic as it will use valuable energy and further loss of heat.
  • Do not try to pull yourself up from the water onto the ice. Instead, kick your feet to get your body parallel and then try to come out of the water.
  • Move back to the area that you fell from, as you know that the ice was strong enough before you fell in
  • If you are with someone that falls through the ice, don't try to go after them. Call for help first.
  • Use something that can be used to reach them like a long branch or ladder.
  • If you have rope or an electrical cord, throw that to them and make sure there are loops tied into it.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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