Ice death rescue effort slammed

Major mistakes occurred during rescue efforts to save ice skaters who fell through Lake Mälaren in January, the Swedish Maritime Administration has said in a report.

The helicopter crews couldn’t communicate with each other and rescue leaders at the headquarters had a poor understanding of the operation.

The accident, in which 14 ice skaters went through the ice, occurred in late January near Ridön, close to Stockholm. Emergency personnel were sent in, but two skaters died.

One helicopter from the Swedish Maritime Administration responded, while the second helicopter was an ambulance. The two used separate communication systems and did not have radio contact with each other.

“The consequence was misunderstandings and the rescue leaders didn’t get the needed overview to be able to lead the rescue efforts in an optimal way,” the Swedish Maritime Administration said in its release.

The Administration’s investigation has led to at least 18 recommendations to improve cooperation in the future.