If you see someone falling through the ice, your natural instinct will probably be to run after them to pull them out. Avoid this temptation. The safest way to perform a rescue is from shore. Call for help first; are professional rescuers nearby? If you have a cell phone, dial your country’s emergency number. Do this as quickly as possible.

Tell the person to remain calm. Reassure them that you have the situation under control. Tell them to keep their head above water, and to control their breathing to remain calm. Tell them to take deep, slow breaths through their pursed lips.

Instruct the person to swim to the edge of the ice where they fell into the water and use their elbows to get a firm grip on it. Tell them to kick with their legs in an attempt to get as horizontal as possible. Once out of the water, they should roll away from the hole.

Can you reach the person with a long pole or a branch? If so, lie down and extend it to them from the shore. If you go on the ice, wear a PFD. Have a pole to test the ice in front to you. As you approach the break, lie down to evenly distribute your weight. Crawl toward the hole. Extend the rescue device to the person and encourage them to kick as you pull them out.