How to survive a fall through the ice

This is just plain interesting. Watch this guy purposely fall through the ice in a lake, just to demonstrate this life-saving technique. Then watch him do it again, still dripping wet, just to emphasize a point.


  • amazing. very interesting…

    • James Hughes ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ”

      Agreed, I was cringing just watching this. Great information to have.

  • RamBic

    In Scandinavia we do a lot of skiing this time of year on frosen lakes and the like. We are mandated by law to always carry Ice spikes (around our necks). It saves many lives every year. (Even an air-tight bag with dry clothes). The sikes look like this:

    • James Hughes ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ”

      Interesting, are visitors told they have to use these spikes?

      • RamBic

        I don’t know. Their friends should.

        • James Hughes ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ”

          Curious because it is mandated by law.

          • RamBic

            I guess what would happen if a police officer sees that someone does not have the spikes is that he informs him about the risks. If that person chooses to remain on the ice he will get a fine.

          • James Hughes ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ”

            That would be a good idea. I may actually buy these and use them if I go out skating.

            As far as the link, it was fine, I just don’t know how patient some people are. I almost didn’t re-link thinking I would offend you. : )

    • thalamoose

      So, nothing like what this Norwegian does?

      He does seem to be using an excess of relaxant, though!

  • This technique is common knowledge amount folks who do serious snowshoeing and hiking in winter. However, this demo was the best I’ve ever seen and his mentioning attempting to stay calm in the first four minutes is very helpful. I would say this is true of any backcountry or really, any emergency: panic and anxiety can sink you further than you’re sunk already.

    An interesting aspect of this not mentioned here is that with heavy snow it’s not always easy to tell where the shoreline is on a lake like the one he was on so hikers may think they’re avoiding walking on the ice but in fact, may be on it.

    Another thing to consider is that falling through with skis or snowshoes on presents other problems: kicking is harder if not impossible and getting out of the snowshoes or skis may be impossible.

    I snowshoe and unless I’m sure a lake is frozen solid I don’t venture out. So far, never fallen through and the thought of it scares the #### out of me (Never Cry Wolf).

  • Mo


  • sezmesez

    Good information! I fell through the ice when I was about 8 years old. I didn’t know this technique and wasn’t able to get out by myself. If it hadn’t been for a brave stranger, I wouldn’t be typing this today.