Dive Teams Practice Ice Rescue

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TUNKHANNOCK -- Dive teams wore special thermal protective gear for ice rescue training at Lake Carey near Tunkhannock Saturday afternoon. Jack Vogrin said he only had a fishing pole – when the ice cracked beneath him.

"I went through the ice before, and I got myself out right here at this same lake," said Vogrin of Tunkhannock.

The Tunkhannock Ambulance Dive/Rescue Team used a chainsaw to cut through the ice, and showed members of several other dive teams the best ways to instruct people panicking in cold water on how to try and pull themselves out. Trainers also showed volunteers how to slide boats on thin ice, attach ropes to a victim, and pull them out.

"The ice is probably eight inches thick, very safe right now. The ice is very stable, we could have quite a few people out here on the ice, but with the winter progressing and as we get closer to spring, the ice will start to thaw out and get extremely thin. We'll get ice fisherman that think they can go out and fish on the ice, and they'll end up falling through the ice," said the Dive Rescue Captain Mark Markovitz.

Markovitz said the training and public awareness is important for volunteers and ice fishers because there wasn't any ice on Lake Carey last winter, and so far they haven't had any rescue calls this year.

"I've learned how to use ropes and lines and how to pull people out safely and really get them hooked up the safe away and get them out," said Sarah Henn of Tunkhannock.

The PA Fish and Boat Commission helped out with Saturday's training at Lake Carey.