A man in an orange suit is carelessly walking on ice and does not mind his steps. Then, suddenly, one second he is on ice and the next second he is under water. The poor man is struggling and crying for help.

Of course, he is not a simple drowning man, but a member of Kyiv regional rescue service.  On the eve of Epiphany the central department of the state technogenic safety service of Kyiv region was holding a master-class on survival in ice water.

Thus, our rescuer is in an ice-hole. He leans on his back and with the help of his elbows manages to get out of the hole, crawling and rolling away from the dangerous place.

Meanwhile, head of the state department on technogenic safety, lieutenant colonel Serhiy Cherkas tells about mistakes people usually do when come on frozen waters.

Cherkas reminds that winter rivers and ponds can be insidious, thus it is not recommended to come on ice drunken or alone. Moreover, it is prohibited to jump on ice, to walk in large groups and to leave children unattended. If you see cracks and leaking out water, turn back to the firm ground immediately.

Meanwhile, our rescuer is in the water again. This time he is being saved by his colleagues. They have thrown him a rope.

Finally, our hero is safe. He seems to feel chilly but ok.

While frozen but happy rescuer is giving interview to the press, medical workers decide to show how to administer first aid to a person, fallen into ice water.

Though this young man looks alive and kicking, nurses have put him on stretcher and are running to the ambulance.

According to a doctor, the first thing to do is to cover the patient with warm blanket. Never give alcohol! It is better to give a cup of hot sweet tea. You can use alcohol to rub arms and legs in order to improve blood circulation. According to the legend, the young man is not breathing. The doctor is making closed-chest massage and expired air ventilation. When the patient comes to consciousness, the doctor put him on a drip right in the ambulance.

Rescuers and medical workers were holding this training on the eve of Epiphany, as many believers go swimming in ice-holes on this day. Consequently, the risk of drowning increases. However, rescuers admit that within their memory nobody died in water on this holiday.

"For the whole history of Christianity, none of the swimmers has even fallen sick," archpriest Mykhailo says. He is convinced that God protects the believers on this day. At the same time, he notes that to make the swimming on Epiphany day a true ritual of consecration, people must first purge the soul, go to church and pray. Otherwise, the ritual bath will be a simple wash.

Forewarned is forearmed

Rescuers remind that 154 people died under ice last year in Ukraine. The risk group includes first of all fishermen.

For this, rescuers hold trainings and information campaigns for anglers to teach them how to behave on ice.

Meanwhile the fish is biting.

Journalists are excited, but officials of the state department on technogenic safety ask angler Serhiy to show the catch. Serhiy does not want fearing to be jinxed, but obeys.

His catch includes roach (down right), blue bream (over) and skimmer bream.

Having praised the catch, journalists wished Serhiy good luck and left.

In turn, ForUm wishes all Ukrainians to have fun on Epiphany day and never appear in unfortunate situations on ice.

Alina Yeremeyeva, photos by Viktor Kovalchuk


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