You need to know the critical steps and how to avoid risking your own life in the process of rescuing someone from a fall through the ice.
If someone falls through ice and you’re the only one who can save the victim, don’t rush to them. Don’t go near the edge of where they are because chances are you’ll fall through as well.
How to Rescue Someone Who Falls Through Ice
1. Shout to the victim and get help by dialing 911. Hopefully you have a phone and a good cell phone connection.
2. Reach for the victim only if you can do it from shore. If not, extend a jumper cable, rope, ladder, or something that will float to the victim. Note, if the person starts to pull you in, release your grip on the object and start over.
One important tip … if a rope is tossed to the victim, have them tie it around themselves in case they’re too weak by the cold ice to grab a hold of it.
3. If you can, find a light boat to push across the ice to the victim. Be sure it’s pushed to the edge of the hole, get into the boat, and pull the victim over the bow.
A good piece of advice is to attach some rope to the boat so that others can help pull you and the person who fell through the ice to safety.
All other rescue techniques should be performed before attempting to venture on the ice to rescue a victim.
If the situation is too dangerous, call 911 and repeatedly reassure the victim that help is on the way. Encourage them to fight to survive. It’s vital you adhere to these safety techniques so the dire situation doesn’t result in two deaths.