Firefighters rescue man from icy lake
Published: March 9, 2007 | 5687th good news item since 2003
A Worcester city man was in serious condition at a local hospital early today after falling off the Route 9 bridge into the icy waters of Lake Quinsigamond yesterday afternoon.
Shrewsbury firefighters retrieved him from the lake within 15-20 minutes of being notified, officials said.
The man was identified last night as Freddy Orantes, 37, by Detective Sgt. Thomas R. Radula. Mr. Orantes was admitted to the intensive care unit of the UMass Memorial Medical Center — University Campus, in critical condition, but his condition was upgraded late last night.
Witnesses told Worcester police that Mr. Orantes appeared to slip rather than jump from the westbound side of the bridge. Before going over the railing, he stood on the inside of the rail, rather than on a ledge on the outside, they said.
Shrewsbury Fire Capt. Robert L. Gaucher said firefighters Michael Bowles and Mark Mann of the Harrington Avenue station responded in the Fire Department hovercraft. They located Mr. Orantes under the bridge.
One firefighter put on an immersion suit and went into the water. Both rescuers hauled Mr. Orantes into the boat and took him to a dock at Vinny T’s of Boston, a restaurant in Shrewsbury, where EMTs provided first aid.
Officials were notified about a man in the water at 4:27 p.m. The rescue was a joint effort by the Shrewsbury and Worcester fire departments. Rescue personnel including the Worcester Dive Team stood by to help, officials said.