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Woman Body Shamed After Ice Fishing Accident

— February 10, 2020

Michigan woman is body shamed after falling through ice while fishing.

While Korisa Miller was ice fishing with her best friend Melissa Kozlowski at Beacon Cove Marina, she slipped and banged her knee, falling on the ice.  Seconds later, it began to crack, and she sank into the freezing water.  Macomb County Sheriff’s Office came to the rescue and shared video footage on Facebook to warn others about the dangers of ice fishing.  In the video, Miller can be seen being pulled out of the water in tights and a sports bra and that’s what would soon lead to body shaming.  The Warren woman said she was ridiculed for her size after being rescued from the freezing waters of Lake St. Clair.

“The spot where I fell in the water was twelve feet deep.  It only took a matter of seconds for me to be completely submerged,” Miller said. “I had to hang on to stay alive.”

Kozlowski tried to help her friend out of the water, but Miller’s legs went completely numb.  “It only took about two minutes for me to no longer feel my legs.  They kept hitting the dock,” she said.

Woman Body Shamed After Ice Fishing Accident
Photo by Jacob Campbell on Unsplash

Kozlowski started screaming for help and two fishermen rushed over to help, trying to pull her out of the water.  “Every time they pulled up, I was getting choked on top of already hyperventilating and freaking out,” Miller said.

The men had to rip off her coat and hoodie to help her stay afloat.  Kozlowski called the police.  After she had been in the water for fifteen minutes, the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office and the Harrison Fire Department pulled her out.  Miller was then transported to McLaren Macomb Hospital.  While in the bed, she noticed the comments about her body.

“After going through such a traumatic experience and I almost died, this is what people have to say.  I just think these people have no conscience anymore,” Miller said. “People have no idea that I used to be 400 pounds and now I am the way I am.  I know people like this, and I know they read the comments.  I have no problem setting people straight.”

Miller was happy that friends and family members came to her defense.  “I have a lot of people that have my back, but I also wanted to go and speak for myself too.  Shame on people like that.”

Despite the comments, she continued to allow the video to be shared in order to draw awareness around the risk of fishing on the ice.  “I want to raise awareness on how dangerous ice fishing can be. I am glad I am alive and share my story,” she said.

A study published in 2017, which analyzed emergency room data from 2009 to 2014 collected from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System All-Injury Program, found that 85 people were hurt while ice fishing.  The researchers found, “half involved broken bones, sprains, and strains.  More than 33 percent were related to injuries like abrasions, cuts, fish-hook injuries, and punctures.  Five cases involved concussions, appendage loss, or organ injuries. Four cases involved falling into cold water, and four concerned anglers being burned.”

“Falling through the ice is the most feared risk of ice fishing,” the study’s lead author, Cornelius Thiels, said. “But burns, he added, are just as common, and rarely discussed.  Ice-fishing huts often contain rudimentary heating systems, and we have seen injuries from fires and carbon-monoxide inhalation.”


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