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Home > Topics > Weird EMS News

Video: Frozen lake rescue descends into chaos

The situation in Wrightwood, California, rapidly became a mass rescue attempt

Editor's note: Check out Art Hsieh's take on this story in, "Chaotic ice rescue video gives me the creeps."

Daily Times 

BRISBANE, Calif. — A day of fun on a frozen California lake became pandemonium after one person fell through the ice, then another and another.

What should have been a day of sledging thrills turned into a string of near-disasters in California after one person fell into an icy lake.

Full story: Video: Frozen lake rescue descends into chaos

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JohnDavid Lomax JohnDavid Lomax Wednesday, January 02, 2013 4:15:09 PM You just can't fix stupid. If the ice breaks with one person, why would you cluster three together and go to the edge?
Chuck Shivery Chuck Shivery Wednesday, January 02, 2013 6:18:14 PM One of the worst things about the situation shown in this ice rescue video is that well-intentioned amateur rescuers added to the problem. The people walking out onto the ice were approaching the first victim from deeper water, which would complicate things further for even a trained and equipped ice rescue team. It's fortunate that there were no fatalities, but there have been many documented, even videotaped incidents where there were fatalities. I think that these videos were an important part of the Ice Rescue Technician course at the New York State Fire Academy in Montour Falls, NY.
Chuck Shivery Chuck Shivery Wednesday, January 02, 2013 6:24:20 PM I'd say tunnel vision and an unfamiliarity with ice. I used to live in San Bernardino County, and Wrightwood is in the mountains outside of Los Angeles County. There isn't much snow and ice there, and many of the visitors there are from the L.A. Basin, where there is an even warmer climate. We can simply chock it up to stupidity, yes, but a bit more broadly, tunnel vision by individuals not familiar with ice led to what could have been a very deadly situation. I for one do not walk on ice unless necessary. Even when I lived in Connecticut and New York, walking on frozen lakes was simply an unnatural act for me.
Chelan County Fire District 5 Chelan County Fire District 5 Friday, January 04, 2013 1:35:33 PM Only one thing was done right near the beginning, someone yelled "call 911!" It turned to chaos because well intentioned people with a lack of knowledge attempted to help, but added to the problem. Charles, I agree with everything you say, and when it comes to people on ice, very few understand ice at all. It is usually if one person walks on it, then another will and soon, there is a whole bunch of people, then "SPLASH"! This is when we get to go to work. I am also glad there were no fatalities, but the question is, did any of those on scene learn from this incident?
Patty Parsons Patty Parsons Tuesday, February 05, 2013 12:18:38 PM The woman doing, yelling and telling the people what to do, she is the one should have been in the pond! She was more concern she got on tape! So glad all the people did get out safe!

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