Audrey Berndt and her husband, Kevin Wiseman, were clearing a snow trail for a snowmobile club in Quebec when their snowcat steered onto a frozen lake.
Immediately, the couple knew something was wrong and tried turning around, but the heavy truck broke through the surface of the ice, plunging the couple 12-feet into the frigid water.
Berndt told CBC in an interview:
“I took two gulps. I said, ‘This is how I’m going to die. No more kids, no more husband. They’re going to lose us both.’”
Wiseman kept his composure. Once the vehicle hit the bottom of the lake, he told his wife that they had a few minutes of air inside the vehicle.
He was able to break through the window using his forehead. But as Wiseman was able to swim to the surface, Berndt was buried under the weight of the water. After he surfaced, he realized his wife wasn’t with him. He refused to let her drown.
He dove once and couldn’t locate her.
Again he tried, but he needed more air in his lungs to get her out, so he resurfaced. On the third try, Wiseman decided that if he couldn’t find his wife, he wasn’t going to come back up.
She told CBC:
“I felt his hand, and he just yanked me right out of there.”
After getting out of the water, the couple leaned on each other and were able to walk to a nearby house where they received help.
VAL-DES-MONTS : INCIDENT IMPLIQUANT UNE SURFACEUSEHier, le 19 janvier, ce fut le retour sur les lieux de l'incident du…
According to CTV News, Wiseman was driving on a trail that was unfamiliar to him, which was why he steered onto the ice.
Constable Martin Fournel, a spokesman for MRC des Collines police, told CBC that the ice was particularly thin where the truck was driving.
Berndt credits Wiseman for saving her life:
“If it hadn’t been for my husband, I wouldn’t be here.”
Wiseman and Berndt were both hospitalized for hypothermia but have been released. They are now both safe at home.