North Syracuse, NY – At approximately 1:45 p.m. today (Feb. 23), State Police in North Syracuse responded to 8904 Beach Road in the Town of Cicero for a reported person who fell through the ice with his dog.
Trooper Ron Morse arrived at the scene and was advised that 45-year-old, Albert J. Merola from 8904 Beach Road in the Town of Cicero was out on the ice of Oneida Lake when the ice gave way underneath him and became completely submerged with his dog.
Trooper Morse grabbed his rope from his patrol vehicle and headed towards the victim who was approximately 200 yards from shore.
When Trooper Morse arrived out to Mr. Merola, he was met by two ice fisherman, Eric A. Wilsey, 31, from Fulton, and Alan P. Waldron, 34, from Phoenix, who was unsuccessful in attempting to rescue the victim with a flag pole.
Trooper Morse tied the rope around his waist and instructed the fishermen to hold the rope while he attempted to rescue Merola and his dog from the frigid water.
Trooper Morse encountered the dog first which was interfering with direct contact with Merola.
He was able to rescue the dog out of the water and continued his efforts but after three attempts the ice began to break underneath them which forced Trooper Morse into the water.
Wilsey and Waldron were able to pull Trooper Morse out of the water using the rope.
Another fisherman, James L. Parkhurst, 35, from Oswego, was able to get a rope with a lifejacket out to the victim.
Merola was able to grab a hold of the life jacket and was eventually pulled to safety.
Merola and Trooper Morse were evaluated by Navac and South Bay Ambulance and released without injury or hypothermia.
State Police would like to remind the public about the dangers of walking out onto the Lake and how unstable the ice can be.