Danger on Thin Ice: How to Survive Fall Into Icy Water

Bob Woodruff explains how to escape from frigid waters.
2:21 | 01/11/13

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Transcript for Danger on Thin Ice: How to Survive Fall Into Icy Water
And now, do you know what to do if you're in danger, liter literally on thin ice? We've seen so many videos recently on youtube about kids going out to play, apparently heedless of how quickly you can go down in the icy water. Tonight, abc's bob woodruff tells us if you know what to do, you can escape. Reporter: It is a familiar winter picture. Dozens of youtube 6 videos show kids and young daredevils having fun venturing out on the ice. But here's what can happen in an instant -- just in the past few weeks, two teens trapped for hours, clinging to a tree. It's even dangerous territory for those coming to the rescue on such fragile ice, often falling in themselves. Falling into frozen waters sends your body into cold shock. Researcher dr. Gordon glesbrecht, aka dr. Popsicle -- you first start gasping and hyperventilating and breathing way more than you need to. Reporter: So he says, get your breathing under control -- fast. It's a race against hypothermia. Under threezing water you are losing body heat 25 times faster than if you were above water. Your blood pressure and heart rate is increasing fast, your core temperature dropping. If you're able to tread water you have as little as 15 minutes before losing consciousness. So frigid, rescuers don full body thermal suits like one i wore in norway -- a precaution. But here's what you can do. Don't flail your arms like this, always keep them above the water -- so they don't freeze, your arms are key. And don't remove your clothing, including your boots, it actually will help you to stay afloat. Swim in the direction you came from, since it's likely the strongest ice. And how to get out? Chris edwards from detroit, wxyz, took the plunge. First, try to hoist yourself up by kicking hard. And always, when on ice, carry simple ice picks like these to help you claw out. Out on thin ice, your every move can make the differentence between life and death. Bob woodruff, abc news, new

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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