You've Fallen Through Ice. Now what?

March 25 2009, 1:03 PM
Although Colorado isn't known for its abundance of water, people frequently have fallen through ice, often while rescuing a pet or another person. As suggested in 5280's March Survival Guide, if this happens:
  • Hold your breath until you surface.
  • Remain calm, and turn toward where you fell in--where the strongest ice will be.
  • Reach your arms as far out as possible onto the ice and pull yourself onto your elbows. Then kick--or swim--your way out of the water.
  • Once you're on ice, crawl on your belly until you get to stronger ice.
  • Get to a warm place and out of your wet clothes as quickly as possible.
  • If you see someone else fall through the ice, call 911. Don't venture too close to the victim on the weak ice. Instead, find something long--a tree branch, rope, or shovel--to reach to him and help drag him out. Quickly get him to a warm place.