Dad And Son Fight To Survive After Falling Through Ice

Story ByAnastasia Smirnova, Sub EditorJoseph Golder,AgencyCentral European News 

Video Credit: CEN/@ZakharS

Two Russian walkers almost died after they fell through this ice into the freezing water in a remote region while hiking across a frozen lake to photograph seals.

Anti-Putin political adviser Zakhar Sarapulov, 27, and his father Boris, who did not reveal his age, were taking part in a popular 52-kilometre (32-mile) route on Lake Baikal from the Russian village of Bolshoye Goloustoye to the work settlement of Listvyanka.

Picture Credit: CEN/@ZakharS

Zakhar told Central European News (CEN): “At first we were following the route, but then decided to walk on the ice so I could take some snaps of Baikal seals (Pusa sibirica).

An avid photographer, Zakhar said they followed a track left by a hovercraft that operates on the huge lake.

He added that there is a certain part of lake that does not freeze as much as the other areas, even when it is very cold.

Credit: CEN/@ZakharS

Zakhar told CEN: “Did the ice look suspicious? Yes, it looked different to what we were walking on before. But Baikal ice is a colourful mix of a dozen of types of ice. You walk on new ice every 20 to 30 metres.

“I was walking ahead and fell into the water first. The ice around me started breaking and a few seconds later my dad also fell into the water.”

The two men spent 17 minutes trying to get out of the water and when they eventually pulled themselves out, they had to leave their waterlogged backpacks behind due to the weight.

They then had to hike for a further two hours to the nearest village where they were helped by a local.

Zakhar said: “Luckily, the weather was minus eight degrees but with no wind.”

He added that neither of them fell ill after the ordeal.

Zakhar said that he works with opposition parties again “Vladimir Putin’s current regime” and used to work at the HQ of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, 43.

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