A few years have passed since this happened to me, but the memory of angels who saved me on a cold day in November is as fresh as memories of yesterday.
A story that has never been told in print happened on Nov. 1, 2006.
I went to L'Heureux Creek just east of Aquadeo to drill a hole to check how thick the ice was for ice fishing. I went out about 15 feet from shore and broke through in about five and a half feet of water. It was about -10 to -15 C and I was in the water up to my chin. Every time I tried to get up, my feet went under and my head would go under the water.
Shirley Neuman was driving across the bridge. She went a little past and said to her friend, "there's someone broken through the ice." My red cap was showing.
They backed up and Barry Huston came to me on the bank of the creek. Shirley went back for some rope. They threw the rope to me and I hung on with both hands. Someone else was passing by and came to help. There were three of them pulling me, but I don't remember any more. I remember walking to the van. Shirley took me to the hotel and put me under a warm shower. I don't remember for how long. She got some dry clothes and shoes. As I sat in a chair I was trembling uncontrollably. They tried to give me some liquor, which I didn't want. I did drink three cups of coffee and the trembling stopped.
They asked how long I was in the water. They told me I had about 10 minutes before I would have passed out.
There was a SaskTel crew working that day. They took me home and someone else drove my vehicle to North Battleford.
It is never too late to say thank you, and I would like to thank everyone who helped me survive this ordeal, especially Shirley. If she had not stopped I would not have survived.
I met Barry Huston later, and he told me Shirley was the one who saved my life.
It is a good thing there are some guardian angles around.