What can I learn right now in 10 minutes that will be useful for the rest of my life?
This is what you do if you fall through the ice on a lake or river. A woman recently died in my area from falling through ice. My father knew her. Hopefully she can spread awareness a bit.
1. When you fall, control your breathing. Do not hyperventilate or breathe rapidly. Breathe small and slow. This will help you stay conscious in the cold water.
2. Get to the edge of the hole and come out horizontally while kicking your feet. Try to stay horizontal and come out slowly. This will prevent the ice from breaking. If you cannot get out, get as much of your body out as you can until help arrives. Water cools you 25 times faster than air. The less of your body is in the water, the better.
3. If it pops out, roll away from the hole. It will distribute your weight and prevent the ice from breaking up again. Continue until you reach solid ice.
4. Go back in the direction you came from. This is where the ice is most likely to be solid. Return to a warm environment and drink warm fluids. Do not take a bath, it may shock the body. Gradually heat up.
I don’t know the exact circumstances in which the woman died, but perhaps this information could have saved her.
Stay safe out there.