There is something majestic when you can ice skate, snowmobile, snowshoe, or even walk on one of the beautiful bodies of water in the Capital Region. But as temperatures start to fluctuate, it is important to be reminded to be ready for anything when heading out on the ice. A woman was snowshoeing on Saratoga Lake and an alert neighbor happened to be in the right place at the right time.
Kathy Simmonds put on her snowshoes Tuesday morning to get some exercise across Saratoga Lake like she has done so many times before. She also follows the same path. But Tuesday, Kathy was about five hundred yards out and the ice gave way beneath her. Within seconds she was in the freezing cold lake up to her armpits. She started screaming for help but no one was around according to News Channel 13.
Another resident that enjoys walking on the lake every day is a man by the name of Steve Hoffman and his wife. They left a little late Tuesday morning and they had seen Kathy in the distance. It looked as if she was walking then all of a sudden sat down. That's when they realized she had fallen into Saratoga Lake.
Steve was prepared. Just a few days earlier he bought a fourteen-dollar snow pick. He wears it around his neck. It looks like a small jump rope with spikes on the tips or the handles. He got on his belly, used his ice pick, and got to Kathy. He then put his ice pick around Kathy's neck and told her to reach out with them and pull herself up. She was being stopped by the current going through her snowshoes. Finally, she got out and was rescued.
That night Kathy bought herself her very own ice pick and a high-pitched safety whistle, one for her and one for Steve. She credits him as her savior. Steve says it's the best fourteen-dollars he's ever spent.
This is a good reminder to make sure the ice you are walking across is thick enough. When the temperatures fluctuate and spring is approaching it's important to double-check the ice's thickness.