What to do if you fall through: rescuing yourself in icy water

and other ice safety tips from the U.S. Coast Guard Portage
Tia Trudgeon attempts a self-rescue from the Portage Canal.
Tia Trudgeon attempts a self-rescue from the Portage Canal.(wluc)
Published: Feb. 10, 2023 at 10:55 AM EST
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DOLLAR BAY, Mich. (WLUC) - With warmer temperatures on the way, the U.S. Coast Guard wants you to stay safe when you’re venturing onto or near frozen water.

TV6′s Tia Trudgeon visited the Coast Guard Station Portage to chat with Petty Officer Brennen Barber about preparedness and what to do if you fall through the ice.

Barber says that preparedness is key to your safety in the winter.

That means always wearing a life jacket, telling your family where you’ll be and when you’ll be back if you’re going out alone, and marking your equipment that you use on ice.

Barber tells Trudgeon that most deaths in the winter water occur not from hypothermia, but from drowning.

BM2 Brennen Barber of the USCG Portage explains how preparedness is the key to safety when recreating near water in the winter.

Knowing the 1-10-1 rule could potentially save your life.

That’s 1 minute of controlled breathing, 10 minutes of controlled movement, and 1 hour before you lose consciousness due to hypothermia.

If you’re properly prepared and have a pair of ice awls on hand, you should be able to get out of the water in a matter of minutes, assuming you’re near an ice shelf.

Tia Trudgeon demonstrates a self-rescue using this technique.

Tia Trudgeon attempts a self-rescue in the Portage Canal and USCG Petty Officer Barber explains the 1-10-1 rule and how knowing it can save your life.

If you see someone fall into the water, call 911 before attempting to rescue.