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Troopers: Man escaped from icy waters on his own hours before emergency responders begin search


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    CARBON COUNTY, Pennsylvania (WNEP) — Firefighters, state police, and a dive team in Carbon County scoured a reservoir near Weatherly on Monday for five hours after someone saw a deep crack in the ice and gloves left behind.

Officials worried someone may have fallen through.

What they didn’t know at the time is that a man did fall through but managed to escape the icy waters on his own.

“I was actually shocked. I was in the Coast Guard, so I know quite a bit about rescuing people from the ice. I can honestly tell you that this doesn’t happen very often,” Chief Tim Rossman of Lehigh and Lausanne Rural Volunteer Fire Company said.

According to state police, the man from Drums heard about the search hours later while watching the news. He told troopers that he had been walking his dog when he fell through the ice. It took him ten minutes to get out, and then he drove home.

Firefighters said if you find yourself in a similar situation, try your best to float. Stay flat and stay calm.

“You’re going to get very, very cold, very, very quickly. If you don’t keep your senses about you, no matter how painful it is, you’re going to find yourself in a much worse situation,” Chief Rossman said.

Firefighters said if you are going to go out on the ice, make sure that you’re prepared. Bring an ice pick and a life jacket.

“Yeah, it might be uncomfortable, but it might save your life,” Chief Rossman said.

Be careful when temperatures get warmer during the day and colder at night.

“This melting and freezing and melting and freezing cycle is not good. It will cause stress fractures and different things like that in the ice,” Chief Rossman said.

Firefighters say it’s safest to be on the ice when there are at least six to eight inches of ice below you. But Chief Rossman says most areas around here typically only have five inches of ice, so be careful.

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