Motorcycle plunges into Berne lake without rider

BERNE — Last Friday night, two young men were drag racing on Thompson’s Lake when they hit a soft patch in the ice and one of their motorcycles went into the water, police said.

“He was able to scurry off,” said Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple of the rider. “The bike didn’t fare so well.”

Neither of the men was hurt and neither was charged by the Albany County Sheriff’s Office.

Since there are no charges, the office is not releasing the men’s names, said Apple; one of the bikers is a 25-year-old from Coeymans and the other is a 23-year-old from Selkirk.

Sheriff’s deputies and rescue workers responded. Apple said the office’s search and rescue team trains “constantly” for ice rescues but hasn’t had to make one for three or four years. He recalled that, several years ago, “We lost a car at Warner’s Lake.”

The sheriff went on to issue a general warning about using caution when venturing onto frozen bodies of water.

“The ice can look solid when it’s not,” he said. “Make sure you have a buoying device to help save your life.”

The motorcycle was still in the lake as of Monday and it would be up to its owner to get it out, said Apple. “They’ll have to hook it up with a chain and haul it out,” he said.

The New York State Environmental Police were called to the scene on Friday to help with cleanup. Apple said this is because oil and gasoline could leak from the motorcycle into the water. He said the environmental police reached no decision at the scene if there would be any fines levied.

On Monday, the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation said there would be no charges for the motorcycle incident last Friday night.

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