Firefighters worked for two hours Thursday afternoon with saws and rescue equipment to save a man who fell through the ice in Westborough.
Bill Johnston, 78, a master falconer, was deep in Westborough's Cedar Swamp flying his falcon when he fell through the ice. He was able to call 911 but rescuers had a difficult time finding him because of thick brush and the muddy and icy conditions. "I only had one percent left," Johnston said about his phone battery. "When I called 911 I said, 'I hope this goes through or I'm going to die out here.'"
Rescuers used chainsaws to cut through the thick brush and specialized suits to protect themselves from the frigid mud and water. The work lasted about two hours.
While he waited, Johnston's body temperature fell.
"You get so weak, you can't stand. They were holding me up," he said.