Fire Fighting in Canada

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Woman rescued after car plunges through ice

Jan. 19, 2015, Warman, Sask. - A Saskatchewan woman's shortcut across a frozen river turned into a scary wait for rescue when her car plunged through the ice.

January 19, 2015
By The Canadian Press

Warman Fire-Rescue Chief Gord Thompson says the woman was driving across the ice road from Warman to Aberdeen on Friday night when her car fell through the ice and ended up in the South Saskatchewan River.

Thompson says the car remained afloat for some time, allowing the woman to climb on top of the vehicle and call 911 on her cellphone.

He says she was still waiting on the roof of the sinking car when rescuers arrived, and they were able to reach her and pull her off.

Thompson says even though his crews got to the scene quickly, it was still several kilometres from Warman, and the volunteer firefighters had to make their way to the fire hall first.

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He says the car sunk after she was rescued.

“As the car was going down, they got her to jump. She jumped to the ice and they got her, and they were able to bring her back to shore,” Thompson said.

“When the car went down, it was completely submerged, so we aren’t certain how deep the water was there.”

Thompson said she would likely have waited at least 10 minutes for help.

Thompson said at other times of the year, a ferry crosses the route, but people cross the ice to save time when it becomes solid enough to support vehicles.

He said it saves about a half-an-hour if you’re driving from Warman to Aberdeen, but noted it isn’t maintained and people do it at their own risk.

“I have done it, but when it’s been a heavy ice road. I haven’t gone down there when the ice is thin,” he said.