Falling through ice in winter can be a deadly situation. Here is the procedure for saving yourself should you fall through in a lake.
Here’s a short animated video with some solid advice on how to survive falling through ice on a lake in winter. Of course the most common sense way to survive is to avoid walking on dangerous ice, but lake ice is not a uniform thing in winter.
There may be (and there usually are) areas where the ice is thick and other areas where it’s dangerously thin. So be ready, and should the unexpected occur, have yourself mentally prepared for how to respond.
If you should happen to fall through the ice, the cold will likely knock the breath out of you. So, one, take a moment to control your breathing as best you can.
Don’t remove any clothing. Instead work on getting yourself stabilized and getting out of the water.
Face toward the way you came if possible and place both arms up and over the ice. The ice will likely be stronger in the direction you came from.
If you have something like ice picks (never walk on the ice without them) or anything sharp (pen, knife, etc), grab it and stab it into the ice to help secure yourself. Kick your legs until they’re horizontal and then pull yourself forward until you get your body more onto the ice.
Don’t try to stand up, as the ice may break again from a concentration of weight in that spot. Instead, try to roll your entire body off of the ice and towards the shore. Run to an area where you can warm yourself up.
You’ve got around 10 minutes to do all of this before the cold begins to shut your body down. But don’t panic. Keep yourself calm and do things methodically but quickly. At the very least, try to get your upper body out of the water and onto the ice.
But again, the best life-saving advice is to avoid questionable ice if at all possible.
Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.