Miramichi councillor, wife, recount harrowing tale of falling through ice
Published Wednesday, January 16, 2019 11:23PM AST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 16, 2019 11:24PM AST
A Miramichi city councillor and his wife are sharing details on the close call they had while snowmobiling on the river last weekend.
Tom King and his wife Darcie broke through the ice, but lived to tell the tale after a regular Friday night kick off to the weekend went awry.
When the ice began to break, Tom's snowmobile completely submerged leaving him to fend for his life.
“At one point, after trying and trying and trying, I thought this is it, this is how you’re going,” Tom King said.
A short distance behind him, his wife Darcie was also beginning to fall victim to the river.
“My sled slowed right down on me,” she said. “I was like ‘what’s going on?’ Then I looked down I realized my sled was sinking and I was going down.”
While trying to pull herself up from the ice panic set in and there was no sight of her husband.
“At that point, I was like ‘he's gone, he's never coming back. My husband is dead. He's gone to the bottom he’s not coming back up.’”
While holding on for dear life Darcie King later gained sight of Tom and was able to throw her cellphone across the ice just far enough for him to make a call that may have saved their lives.
“When I was putting in the numbers, they wouldn’t work, my hands were so frozen and when I hit emergency mode I was able to get through to the dispatcher.”
The kings and the Miramichi police were able to form a human body chain to get Darcie out of the river. Her body temperature was only 23 degrees, but she just happy to be alive.
The Kings say it was extremely important for them to get their safety message out to the public, in hopes that no one ever comes close to the near-death experience they had.
“There’s no magic wand that you can wave that’s gonna say ‘OK, the ice is completely frozen, you’re OK.’ There could always be that one pocket that you’re taking the chance that you could hit. That’s what happened to us.”
It was a life lesson that saw their lives flash before their eyes and they're now holding onto each other just a little tighter.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kate Walker.