When I was a teenager, a friend and I decided to cross the frozen Scarborough Marsh one winter's day. It had been very cold, and everything was covered in snow. The Spurwink River is backish and tidal so you could see where the rising and falling water had caused ridges to form and collapse—but the ice looked safe enough.
It wasn't. My friend went through about fifteen feet from me. We knew a neighbor family whose young son had died falling through the ice. This looked to be a very bad situation.
And then, suddenly, my friend stood up. Half of his body was submerged, but his feet were on compacted mud. We were lucky it was low tide.
Not everyone who falls through the ice is so fortunate, as I discuss at Maine Crime Writers today.