Ice Fishing Rescue

In case of Emergency, call 911

The first thing you want to do as a would be rescuer is to get buoyancy to the victim.
While doing this talk to the victim, calm them and reassure them that help is on the
way. There are many things that can float, be inventive (ie. Bucket seats with snap on
lids, rear car seats, spare tires, etc.) Remember you want to get something to the
victim that they can wrap there arms around. Fingers and your grip tend to lose
strength and dwindle rapidly in cold/wet winter weather. This makes grabbing things
almost next to impossible after the fist few minutes. When sliding these items out to
the victim always do so from the side. This eliminates the possibility of the ice
breaking loose where the victim is holding on. Always talk to the victim, let them know
what you are doing.

If a rope is available tie a loop in it and throw it to the victim. Always tie a loop in the
rope before throwing it. The victim probably will not be able to grasp it or tie it on

After the victim is stable get REAL HELP!!!! Get the people with the equipment and
know how to do the rescue. You do not want to pull the person on the ice or have
themselves do this. The area is probably weakened which could make them fall
through again. They would also be expending valuable energy that is needed to keep
there body warm.

When your thinking about going out on the ice to rescue someone, remember that
even trained rescuers use the motto throw, row, then go. The last resort is to go out
to the victim in person. This increases the danger to both the victim and rescuer.

As a would be rescuer just remember the basics. Never go on the ice without a
flotation device, stabilize the victim, get help rapidly. Always talk to the victim, be
calming, reassuring, and informative of the situation.