Thursday March 16, 2017

This man plunged 100 feet into freezing lake — and survived

Jake Garrow suffered a popped eardrum and some frostbite when his skid-steer loader broke through the ice on Lake of the Woods in January.

Jake Garrow suffered a popped eardrum and some frostbite when his skid-steer loader broke through the ice on Lake of the Woods in January. (Submitted by Jake Garrow)

Listen 22:26

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With temperamental weather, the winter of 2017 has been an unusually deadly one from communities along the Great Lakes.

In Ontario, the list of fatalities is long: Stoney Lake, Dark Lake, Chemong Lake, Lake Scugog, Lake Nipigon and the Waterford North Conservation area have all claimed the lives of people who had fallen through the ice.

But not Jake Garrow

In January, Garrow was clearing snow off an ice road on Deception Bay, near Kenora, Ont., when the ice gave way. 

Trapped in his skid-steer loader, Garrow had to break the back window of his vehicle with his elbow and escape.

But by that point, Garrow was already at the bottom of the -30 degree lake.  

"It's very quiet. There's nothing ... I guess you can say it's peaceful under there,'" he recounts to Anna Maria Tremonti

'I was about halfway up when I could see the light, and I could see ice — everywhere.' - Jake Garrow 

Against all odds, Garrow survived — only to then be ignored by nine passing vehicles on the nearest road. 

He tells the whole story on The Current

This segment was produced by The Current's John Chipman and Shannon Higgins.