Scary Ice Fishing Video: Angler Falls Through the Ice — Twice!

If you don’t take ice safety seriously, then this video might be just what’s needed to scare some sense into you.

Scary Ice Fishing Video: Angler Falls Through the Ice — Twice!

Here’s the text that was posted with the YouTube video below; please read it and then I’ll provide my comments toward the bottom of the page:

“I'm so glad to be able to say this was a close call. Markus, our photographer and loved friend, was out fishing 2 days ago. It was a beautiful morning, minus 5 degrees Celsius (23 Fahrenheit) and the ice seemed great. He went out fishing, but after a few hours he felt like the ice was getting bad and decided to call it quits. He put his stuff together, turned on the GoPro and started walking back home. The rest is what you see.

“This time it went well, hopefully there won't be a next time. Please, be cautious out there. We are experienced on the ice and know when troubles might occur, and still end up in situations like this. Markus is strong, with a good physique and had his ice nails accessible. Many fishermen out there wouldn't stand a chance in a situation like this, so don't put yourself in one.

“Comments like ‘He should've know the ice was this bad’ etc won't be appreciated. The ice wasn't bad when he went out; it went bad because of the sun and when he realized, he started heading towards the shoreline. Spring is dangerous on the ice, so be careful!”


Author's Comments

I believe this “Near Death on Ice” experience took place in Sweden. To be honest, there’s so much clickbait online these days that I wasn’t expecting much. My guess was the angler would fall through the ice in waist-deep water, then quickly walk to shore — no real danger. End of story.

I was wrong — big time!

In fact, this is the scariest ice fishing video I’ve ever seen online. Not only does Markus fall through once, but after getting back onto thicker ice, he quickly falls through a second time, then he’s unable to get back onto solid ice again. He literally claws his way back to shore and finally walks out of the water. Insane.

Without ice picks/spikes, Markus would have drowned. Period. And it’s clear that Markus is in very good shape; I doubt that many people would have been able to put forth the physical effort it took to winch himself toward shore from such a long distance.

Regarding the YouTube descriptive text, “The ice wasn’t bad when he went out, it went bad because of the sun.”

I’ve been an avid ice fisherman for nearly 45 years, and late ice is my absolute favorite time to target shallow-water panfish. I can’t count on two hands the number of times I fully expected to fall through the ice.

Any time I’m venturing onto marginal ice, I carry ice picks, and also wear a life jacket (personal flotation device) or a flotation suit such as the Huk Icon X Superior Jacket and Bibs. It’s also mandatory for late ice to use a spud bar to check ice thickness as you go. (Click here to see how it’s done.)

I also wait for days when the air temp is above freezing. Why? Because if I do fall through and get wet, I’d rather have the air temp be 40 degrees Fahrenheit instead of 4 degrees.

In the video, Markus first has a boot go through the ice at the 11-second mark. Then he ends up crashing through completely at the 28-second mark. (See the long crack in the ice? These spots are especially dangerous.)

Markus initially turns around and attempts to exit the water back toward better ice that moments earlier was holding his weight; smart move. However, he then turns left and attempts to exit toward the crack. I know it’s easy to play “Monday morning quarterback,” but that said, IMO it would have been better to continue working back toward his sleds.

After he finds more solid ice, he walks quickly toward the nearest shore. This is certainly understandable, but a mistake. He already stepped through the ice in one spot, and fell through entirely; the ice is marginal everywhere, he didn’t simply hit a bad spot at the crack. Again, this is easy to say in hindsight, but he should have been crawling to distribute his weight across the ice.

One more comment based on my late-ice experience: The blackest ice is generally the most dangerous; as Markus was walking toward shore at the 1:39 mark, I was literally saying to my laptop, “Don’t walk onto the dark spot!” As I stated previously, he should have been crawling; he also should have been trying to stay on light-colored (white-ish) ice as much as possible.

Markus is lucky to be alive. Several times he clings to the ice and pauses to rest, and you can hear his heavy breathing. Scary stuff.

It’s not explained in the YouTube text whether Markus was attempting to walk back to shore on the same path he used earlier in the day. Of course, it’s safer to walk on ice that supported you previously than travel on unknown footing.

Could the sun turn safe ice into unsafe ice in one afternoon of fishing? I suppose anything is possible. But if I had to guess, I’d say Markus attempted a different route off the ice than the one he used to walk on the ice.

One final bit of advice: Because the sun warms a lake’s bottom when there’s no snow on the ice, the ice near shore (or any shallow-water area) is almost always thinner than mid-lake ice over deeper water.

Be safe out there.


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