Man rescued from icy Holland Pond after canoe capsizes

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HOLLAND — Two Vermont State Police troopers orchestrated a dramatic rescue of a Barre City man from frigid waters of Holland Pond on Friday morning after his canoe capsized amidst strong winds and waves.

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Kevin Foerster, 37, found himself in peril shortly before 11:20 a.m. when his canoe overturned more than 150 feet from the nearest shore. A local resident witnessed the incident and promptly alerted authorities, noting that Foerster was visibly struggling and waving for help without a life vest.

Responding swiftly, Detective Trooper Steven Fauteux and Trooper James Gallup, along with a Newport Ambulance crew, arrived at the scene within 15 minutes. Trooper Gallup immediately entered the water with a life vest to aid Foerster, who was clinging to the capsized canoe.

Simultaneously, Detective Fauteux commandeered a pedal-powered paddleboat from a nearby private residence. After removing its tarps and launching it with help from EMS personnel, he pedaled vigorously towards the middle of the lake.

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Upon reaching Foerster, Trooper Gallup assisted him to stay afloat until Fauteux arrived. Together, they clung to the paddleboat, which Fauteux pedaled back to shore. A rescue raft deployed by the Derby Line Fire Department met them midway, ensuring their safe return to land.

The rescue operation also involved the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife and was supported by additional Derby Line and Newport Ambulance crews. Unfortunately, a dog accompanying Foerster did not survive the incident.

Foerster was promptly evaluated by medical personnel on shore as a precaution. The dramatic rescue was recorded on Detective Fauteux’s body-worn camera, footage of which is now available along with several photographs from the incident.

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