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8 Tips for Surviving Broken Ice

Alan Majchrowicz- Getty Images

A crack in the ice can lead to a fight for survival.  In just the last month I’ve heard of two cases where people locally have fallen into the ice. Sadly, one person lost their life and the others, thankfully were saved. God forbid, but if you find yourself in an icy situation, here are some survival tips:

1. Swim towards the direction from which you came, because it’s likely the strongest ice, and try to hoist yourself up, kicking as though you’re swimming.

2. Carry simple ice picks. They could be a vital lifeline as you wait for help.

3. Don’t remove your clothing, including your boots. It actually will help you to stay afloat and keep you warm against freezing temperatures.

4. Normalize your breathing. Gasping and hyperventilating will set in immediately, so start controlling your breathing so you don’t go into cardiac arrest.

5. Know the weather and ice conditions. You should also know where you’re going and how to call for help.

6. Have proper clothing to prevent hypothermia. Dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature.

7. Have proper equipment, including marine radio, life jackets, screw drivers, ice picks, etc.

8. Know that new ice is usually stronger ice.

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