And Upton was glad Breyette was there.
“I couldn’t have gotten (Senecal) out by myself,” he said.
‘DON’T FISH ALONE’
Senecal said he was not injured, only cold and wet.
He was frightened at first, but “once I hollered and Mr. Upton turned around, I knew I would get out.”
He ice fishes two to three times a week during the season; he’d never fallen in before. A layer of snow had covered the ice, preventing him from seeing how thin it was, he said.
Upton, who lives in Beekmantown, said someone was fishing on the spot just two days before the accident and that the hole had frozen with a thin layer of ice.
The Senecals, married 48 years, are deeply grateful to Upton and Breyette.
“I’m 72 years old,” Mr. Senecal said. “There was no way I was going to get out on my own.”
In a Letter to the Editor to the Press-Republican, he wrote: “You will always be my heroes ...”
WILL FISH AGAIN
Wednesday, he was enduring a bad cold that Mrs. Senecal figures was triggered by his bath in icy water.
“I knew he was going to get sick,” she said.
She also knows her husband will get back on the ice next winter; he just loves ice fishing.
“Oh, yes,” he confirmed that.
Mr. Senecal, Upton and Breyette were only nodding acquaintances before.
“We only talked three or four times” while fishing, Mr. Senecal said.
Breyette, also a Beekmantown resident, said that no one should go ice fishing alone because of the risk of falling through the ice.
Upton’s advice is for anglers to fish with a partner as much as possible.
“You can never be too careful,” he said.
— News Editor Suzanne Moore contributed to this report.