A woman threw herself into the Seneca River in Lysander after her two dogs ran onto the ice and fell into the freezing waters. Sadly, her dogs didn't make it.

Tragedy on Seneca River

The Plainville Fire Department responded to a tragic scene on Sunday morning, where a Lysander woman was unable to save her dogs.

According to the 911 calls, witnesses watched the 36-year-old woman, who lives on Morgan Road, run onto the ice after her two pets, and all of them fell into the Seneca River.

Callers told authorities the woman was flailing her arms and calling for help.

Numerous agencies responded to the emergency call, including the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office, the Jordan Ambulance and Fire Department, and Northwest Fire Department.

Emergency workers were able to extricate the woman from the ice and estimate she was in the water for about 20 minutes. She was taken to Upstate University Hospital for treatment.

According to the Plainville Fire Department, the dogs did not make it despite a strong rescue effort by both first responders and good Samaritans.

No further information was provided at this time.

Beware of Thin Ice

The tragic event is similar to a recent incident on the Hinckley Reservoir, where two people fell into the ice after trying to rescue a dog. Thankfully, that story had a happy ending because all three were successfully rescued.

Three Children Die After Falling Into Icy Lake
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However, a similar incident involving thin ice claimed the life of one person earlier this month.

Read More: 2 Upstate NY Brothers Fall Through Ice, 1 Dies 

With incidents of people falling through the ice happening every week, authorities are urging the public to stay off ponds, lakes and rivers because the ice is not yet thick enough to support any recreational winter activities.

Ice is considered safe to walk on when it is at least four inches thick. Due to the unseasonably warm weather this winter, police say the ice hasn't reached safe levels.

When Is Ice Safe?

Danger - Thin Ice
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Survival Skills Guide recently released a list of how to determine if the ice is safe enough to walk on before stepping foot on it.

Some ways to tell if the ice is safe is by looking at the color, as blue to clear ice tends to be denser and stronger. Meanwhile, snow-covered ice tends to be weak and should be avoided - especially if there is slush on the surface because it indicates the ice has stopped freezing.

Additionally, gray ice is considered unsafe and is viewed as the weakest of the bunch.

When encountering clear or blue-colored ice, it is advised to drill or poke a hole through it to measure its thickness. Ice is considered safe to walk on if it is over four inches thick, as it can support at least 200 pounds.

For those wanting to go snowmobiling or use an ATV, the ice should be over 5 inches thick because it will be strong enough to support 800 pounds.

Cars can go on the ice as long as it is over 8 inches thick while light pickup trucks or vans can go on the ice when it is over a foot thick.

It is also strongly recommended to not go alone when heading onto the ice and to always let at least one other person know where you will be.

But, what do you do if you fall through the ice?

Staying Safe in Cold Water

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The first few seconds of falling through the ice are extremely important. The shock can cause people to panic and not think clearly, which leads to people going under. Also, the body may instinctually inhale the second it hits the freezing water, which can cause them to swallow water and hyperventilate.

If you ever find yourself in this terrifying situation, you should focus on remaining calm and keeping your mouth closed as you go down. Once in the water, control your breathing as soon as your head is above water and work toward getting yourself back onto solid ground.

"Turn in the direction from which you came. It's probably the area with the strongest ice," the guide explained, adding, "Get as much of your body as you can up onto the edge."

If you get that far, hang on the side of the ice to let the water from your clothes drain. Then you should work on pulling yourself out of the ice slowly, and not scramble. Instead, kick your feet as if you are swimming and use the motion to propel yourself back on top of the ice.

Once successfully on the surface, you need to fight the urge to stand and run - because you may find yourself in the same situation. Instead, remain prone and roll away from the hole.

Survivalists say the human body has about 10 minutes before it begins shutting down, beginning with the fingers, arms and legs. If you are unable to escape the water beforehand, it is strongly advised to find a way to keep your head above water, such as treading in place or clinging to a floatation device.

Other people say they have let their sleeves freeze to the ice and have used that to anchor themselves above the water.

After an hour, hypothermia will begin to set in and you will lose consciousness.

Watch the video below to watch a play-by-play instruction of how to stay alive if you fall through the ice.

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