A man in Chicago went for a walk on Friday morning – only to end up hundreds of yards offshore on top of Lake Michigan’s icy surface. The man, who apparently didn’t know he was on the lake, was rescued 1,000 feet away from land, the Chicago Fire Department wrote on Twitter.
Police and fire officials said the man was spotted around 7:20 a.m, according to CBS Chicago. A helicopter and rescue squad from the city’s fire department responded and rescuers walked an inflatable raft to the man, helping him get on solid ground.
“This rescue went smoothly but the outcome could have easily been a tragedy,” the fire department tweeted, sharing photos of the rescue. “Avoid the ice at all costs. No ice is safe ice!”
Last month, ice had begun to form on the lakefront, and the Chicago Police Marine unit used it as an opportunity to remind people to use caution and not skate on the ice.
If you do fall into ice, the unit says to place both arms on top of the ice and kick your feet until you can get your body horizontal and pull yourself out on your elbows while continuing to kick. If you can pull yourself out, lay flat to distribute your weight evenly to prevent the ice breaking, and roll away from the hole. If you can’t get out, remain halfway out of the water and continue to control your breathing until help arrives.
A person who falls into water that is 40 degrees or lower, has about three minutes before they lose dexterity in their limbs, the unit says.
Last winter, when a TikTok video of people walking on an icy Lake Michigan was shared on Twitter, the Marine unit responded. “DO NOT DO THIS! Your life is worth more than an #instgram #twitter post or #tiktok video,” the tweet reads. “At current water temp you will lose dexterity in your limbs in under 3 minutes & be exhausted in 15-30 after falling through the ice.”