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Course Outline

  • Don't panic.
    • Do not remove any protective gear. Your snowmobile suit and helmet may keep you afloat for several minutes.
    • Get your head above the surface of the water, and get your breathing under control.
  • Swim to the edge of the solid ice you were on before you fell in. Keep your gloves on.
  • If you have a sharp object such as a knife or ice pick, jab it into the ice so that you can pull on it.
  • Kick your feet as hard as you can, and pull yourself up quickly with your forearms. Do not put all your weight on your elbows.
  • If the edge breaks off, move forward to the next solid edge and try again.
  • Crawl up onto the ice, and then crawl or roll (but don't stand—you may break through again) until you're on solid ice.
  • Take action immediately to prevent hypothermia.

If You Cannot Self-Rescue

  • If you break through ice and are unable to get yourself out of the freezing water:
    • Get your arms and as much of your upper body as possible out of the water.
    • Keep your arms still. Hopefully your clothes will freeze to the ice and keep you from falling back into the water.
    • Call for help by yelling or using a signaling device.
Snowmobile breaking through ice
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