How to Survive Falling Through Ice

Though it does not feel like it in most parts of the country, we are now fully entrenched in Winter. Soon enough, snow storms, ice storms, and unbearably cold weather will become a mainstay of many communities, and this type of weather presents all sorts of dangers. One danger that is often neglected is that of falling through especially thin ice. For ice fishermen, ice skaters, and anyone else that may find themselves on or near frozen waters, it is imperative that you know what to do if you ever breach the ice and find yourself submerged in bone-chilling waters.

Each and every Winter hundreds of thousands of people fall through ice intro frigid waters, and every year a few of these people do not survive. In order to not become another statistic, there are a few key pieces of information that you would do well to take note of.

Cover Your Mouth and Nose

One of the most important facets of surviving a fall through the ice is something that you should do the moment you realize you are falling through. When the ice breaks and the ground beneath your feet gives way, the most important thing you can do is immediately cover your mouth and nose. The reasoning for this is due to the fact that even the smallest inhalation of cold water will threaten to shut down your airways and, in turn, cause cardiac arrest.

By taking a deep breath and covering your nose and mouth, you will do well to prevent your internal organs from entirely shutting down.

Never Underestimate Ice Picks

For people who do find themselves trekking across frozen waters, a tool such as an ice pick can be immensely helpful if you ever fall through. These small, inexpensive tools can do a lot in the way of getting you out of the water and to safety.

If you do find yourself in frozen waters, utilize the ice pick as a means of pulling yourself out. By carefully striking the ice with your picks, you will be able to pull yourself out of the water. Once out of the hole you have created in the ice, it would behoove you to stay on your back as this allows for the equal distribution of your body weight on the ice. Simply put, remaining on your back or chest will prevent you from falling back through the ice.

Stay Off the Ice

Let’s say, for example, that a friend of yours falls through the ice. Your initial instinct may be to rush out to where they have fallen through and help them, but the reality is that doing this presents more dangers than solutions. If a friend does fall through, it is strongly advised that you stay on shore and attempt a rescue from there.

By using rope, cables, or just about anything else you can find, you can attempt to make a rescue without also endangering yourself.

These are all tips provided Gerry Dworkin, a water safety consultant, in conjunction with the Today show.