After receiving many concerned reports, police in Westminster, Massachusetts, were called to a local pond on Wednesday to investigate a body lying on the ice.
Luckily, the "person" was never alive to begin with.
The police department posted photos of the dummy on its Facebook page because many local onlookers believed that it was a real person in trouble on Round Meadow Pond.
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
From a distance, it is easy to see how the dummy, dressed in full winter gear, might look like a living human.
"We responded to the area and found this laying in the snow on the ice upon walking out on the ice to check on the 'person' ... We absolutely thank those who called to report this potentially hazardous situation to us. We are also aware this was put on the pond by persons unknown sometime last week before the snowstorms," police said on social media.
Police propped up the "person" back up, but asked the owner to either secure it or take it off the ice to prevent further calls from concerned onlookers.
The department was soon notified that the dummy was part of a contest that the Westminster Historical Society is conducting as part of fundraiser. They are selling tickets all over town, asking the community to guess when the fake skier will fall in the water. The fundraiser is called the “Ice Out Contest.”
“100 percent we feel so bad that it didn’t get to them,” Nadine Leger of the Westminster Historical Society said. “We didn’t say it beforehand like, ‘Oh by the way, we’re putting a guy on the ice!’”
Police said that they are working with a representative to find a safe resolution to the contest.
“If it’s something that starts creating a distraction, we’re going to have to deal with that,” Lt. Mike McDonald of the Westminster Police Department said.
Leger said the historical society will be doing more to secure the skier. They also plan on putting a sign up to notify the community about why he is there.