The dilemma

Your out ice skating with your friends on a cold and frosty day, the sun is shining, and as you show off your routine and go to end it with a triple salco. Splash! All of a sudden your neck deep in ice cold water, wandering what the hell happened. 

Well DO NOT panic as these are my top tips on how to survive falling through ice.


  • Shock is obviously the first thing that's going to hit you, so stay calm, breathe steadily and try to concentrate on staying afloat.
  • Compose yourself and try to think of which direction you came from as you fell, this would more than likely be where the strongest ice is. You don't want to be breaking up more ice or falling straight back in as you will be wasting energy.
  • Pull yourself up on the edge of the hole using your elbows, stay calm and hold yourself in that position, let as much water as you can drain from your clothes before you try to exit.
  • You are more than likely going to have some kind of sharp object in your pockets, such as keys, combs, penknife or mini tool. Use these to help dig into the surface of the ice and pull you to safety.
  • Whilst digging and pulling yourself out , use your feet by kicking them as though you were swimming and continue to do so until you are free.
  • Once you have reached the surface DO NOT stand up as this may cause the ice to break again, stay flat and roll away as far as you can. This distributes your weight more evenly.
  • Get out of your wet clothes as soon as you can and keep moving, as daft as it sounds roll about in some snow, this will help absorb some of the moisture or dry you off.
  • GET WARM as quick as you can, hot drinks, dry clothes, warm car or house. Get whatever or whoever is near to help.

What to do if you still can't pull yourself free.

  • 2-5 minutes is the normal window of opportunity for escaping. This does not mean you can't survive.
  • After 5 minutes you will start to feel numb and weak, conserve energy by not moving about at all, as this will lose heat from your body far quicker than keeping still.
  • Try to keep as much of your body free from the water as you can, your body loses heat 25 times quicker in water as it does air at the same temperature.
  • Keep your arms still and at full stretch out of the water, this way after a while your arms may freeze stuck to the ice, because after about ten to fifteen minutes you may lose consciousness and you don't want to slip back into the water.
  • People have been found like this before. Unconcious and frozen to the side of the hole by their arms or even beard and survived. So don't lose all hope, give yourself the biggest chance of survival as possible.

Comments 6 comments

LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

detailed, useful hub - hope I won't need it, though!

NDBEES profile image

NDBEES 7 years ago from DEVON Author

Thanks LondonGirl. I hope no-one needs it.

Lgali profile image

Lgali 7 years ago

useful hub

MellasViews profile image

MellasViews 7 years ago from Earth

excellent tips. I never thought about the rolling thing. I would just stand up like an idiot. I have never fallen through, but have watched my cousin go down once, and it was scary as hell, because as he tried to get out, the ice kept breaking. He did manage to make it out, and removed all clothing, and went running faster than dear life, naked to a house, where a woman let him in. I never thought shed let him in though, naked and soaking wet at her porch. He got real lucky that day though. He could of died. Excellent article.

NDBEES profile image

NDBEES 7 years ago from DEVON Author

Thank you MV for your comment. She probably has naked. wet people knocking on a daily basis. LOL.

Angry Girl 5 years ago

BAD TIPS they didn't work just kidding but they are bad tips okay.

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