Rescue Victims in Icy Waters

by Emily Baird on January 4, 2010 at 6:17 am

The Zanesville Fire Department says this recent accident reinforces the idea that you need to be careful near icy waters.

Fire Chief, Dave Lacy, says most of the time, the ice isn’t as stable as you would think.

"Ice over the top of moving water like a stream or a ditch or something like that. It may look like, you know, it’s thick enough to get out on, but with the moving water underneath it’s scouring the bottom side of that ice. It may be very thin, " says Lacy.

The recommendation is that the ice be at least four inches thick, but accidents do happen on the ice, and Lacy says it can be very difficult to find someone who has fallen through.

He says children, like 7-year-old Cyrus Hanson-who fell through an icy pond yesterday-have a better chance of coming out of the incident all right.

"Their chances of survival are a lot better than sometimes an older person. It just depends on, is it hypothermia that’s getting them, or are they actually drowning, " says Lacy.

Rescue attempts from icy waters can be dangerous, especially if they involve a moving body of water. Crews typically use dry suits, rope, and ladders to reach and to save victims.