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Ten fall through ice on Swedish lake

TT/Vivian Tse · 21 Feb 2011, 09:06

Published: 21 Feb 2011 09:06 GMT+01:00

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The association had decided to relocate a hovercraft from Halland on Sweden's west coast to the island of Visingsö in the southern part of Vättern over the weekend for safety reasons.

The vessel complemented another hovercraft from Vadstena on the northeastern shore of the lake southwest of Motala on Sunday. The decision to move the hovercraft to central Sweden about 30 km north of Jönköping turned out to be timely.

On Sunday, the hovercrafts were called for repeatedly. The rescue service of Jönköping reported at least six cases involving 10 people falling through the ice.

"It could have been more," said fire chief Jan Callas on Sunday.

The hovercrafts participated in all of the rescue operations. Many of those who fell into Vättern suffered from hypothermia.

Story continues below…

Over the weekend, the hovercrafts participated in about 15 rescues involving individuals who fell through the ice, as well as people who had fallen and injured themselves on the ice.

"Emergency services have gotten a lot of help from the Swedish Sea Rescue Society's hovercraft, which was docked in Jönköping on Sunday. We urge everyone to exercise extreme caution on the ice, whose thickness varies greatly," the society wrote on its Facebook page.

TT/Vivian Tse (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:55 February 21, 2011 by krattan
Passed this lake on Friday and only about half of it seemed to be covered with ice. At least that's what it looked like from Brahehus.
16:00 February 21, 2011 by Åskar
Usually Vättern does not freeze over, so I imagine the ice cover is not that thick at all.
21:23 February 21, 2011 by zooeden
23:49 February 21, 2011 by Keith #5083
A visitor in his late 50's took a walk to our local church a few kms away at around New Year,alone.He decided to cross to an island on the centre of the apparently well frozen lake.Again alone. He fell in!!

Fortunately he was able to get out, though goodness knows how as it's very deep there, and walked back in the freezing cold soaked from the mid-chest down.

He didn't seem to appreciate how extraordinarily fortunate he had been, nor how totally stupid!!

He had no safety gear with him, ski sticks or rope for example, and no one else. Had he fallen in and never surfaced I cannot imagine how much trouble the rescue services would have had. No-one knew where he would be or anything.

Kudos to all the rescue services who sort out the often tragic results of such arrogance.
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