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Teen's dip in Cary pond a cautionary tale about thin ice

Posted January 4, 2018 12:30 p.m. EST
Updated July 13, 2018 11:17 a.m. EDT

— A Cary teen's dip in freezing water Thursday is serving as warning that police across the Triangle want to spread.

Cameron Hens, 13, said he was walking with a friend near a home in the 100 block of Merry Hill Drive. The pair made it about halfway across a retention pond before the ice cracked, and Hens got soaked.

"I was just walking, and the ice cracked, and I fell in," he said. Hens had been certain that the ice would hold.

His friend was able to run to shore, and a neighbor called 911 after seeing Hens fall.

"I had to crawl my way out pretty much," Hens said.

He was able to climb out of the water and was being warmed by a Good Samaritan's blanket by the time paramedics arrived.

Hens was not injured, only wet and cold.

Cary EMS Lt. Matt McLamb warned that the coating of snow on bodies of water can make them appear more solid than they really are.

"It's very deceptive. You see a solid sheet of white, but it's not thick enough to hold up weight," he said.

Cary police said they had more than two dozen calls about people walking or playing on the ice before Hens fell in.

Police in Wake Forest issued the same warning and offered these tips for safety around thin ice:

  • If you fall through or see someone who does, shout for assistance, and send for the emergency services by calling 911
  • Stay off the ice, even if you are trying to help
  • Shout to the person to keep still and not to panic
  • Try and reach them from the bank using a rope, pole, a tree branch, clothing tied together or anything else that extends your reach
  • When reaching for the person you are trying to pull to the bank, lie down to avoid being pulled onto the ice
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