2 arrested in skimming incident; NH Fish and Game official says copycats a concern
LACONIA — A video posted to social media showing a snowmobiler and waterskier skimming across the Weirs Channel has Fish and Game officials worried about copycats.
The video was posted by Andrew Keefer and CJ Gulbicki to several social media sites on Saturday and Sunday.
On Tuesday, Fish and Game arrested the two men they said were involved in the incident.
Jory Vachon, 28, and Patrick Keefer, 32, both of Meredith are facing disorderly conduct charges in relation to the Saturday incident. Vachon drove the snowmobile while Keefer skied behind it, officials said.
Fish and Game Col. Kevin Jordan said he's especially angry because the men didn't just put their own lives in jeopardy but could have risked the lives of others, had they needed to be rescued.
"You can line the beach with 100 people, and they can't get out there quick enough," Jordan said. "They just drown. It's insane and it's reckless."
Jordan said it's even more alarming that it took place only a few weekends after several snowmobiles went through the ice on Lake Winnipesaukee killing three people.
"We had 3 tragedies that could have easily been five and to do this only weeks later," Jordan said.
Jordan said both men were cooperative with officers investigating the incident and have been released on personal recognizance bail with April court dates set in Laconia District Court. If convicted, they could each face anywhere from $240 to $1,500 in fines and up to a year in jail. However, jail time is unlikely, Jordan said, because neither men had prior criminal records.
Jordan is aware that a GoFundMe account has been created to pay for the fines but said a judge might be unhappy with that decision.
"The courts in the Lakes Region do not look favorably upon it," Jordan said.
The GoFundMe account created by Andrew Keefer on Monday had raised its $496 goal by Tuesday morning.