Belarus man survived for 7 hours in icy waterA man survived for 7 hours in icy water in Belarus. Doctors say it is a unique case, as normally humans can only survive for not more than an hour before succumbing to hypothermia. Miraculously, he didn’t even get a cold!

Survival in freezing water

At the end of January, two men arrived at a small hospital in the town of Dobrush (Gomel region). Both men were wet, but if the younger guy looked fine, the older one apparently needed medical help. Subsequently, it was revealed that he had spent 7 hours in icy water.

As the survivor Sergei Belebnev told reporters he went outside to get water from his well in the morning when he suddenly slipped while trying to close the lid and fell over into the well. Somehow he was able to do a flip in the air, land on his feet and got his head above the water.

The depth of the well was about 7 meters (21ft) with the water level reaching 1.5 meters (5ft).

The poor guy tried to shout for help, but no one heard him. Thus he had to stay there until the afternoon when his female neighbor, who was returning home from work, heard strange sounds from inside the well and went to check it. She realized it was her neighbor and called him by the name, he responded. Then she immediately rang his son, who rushed to help.

Alexander, the victim’s son, decided not to wait for rescuers and got into the well to check his father’s condition. Then he climbed up the chain and hauled himself out of the hole. After that Alexander wrapped the chain around his father’s waist and pulled him out, reports.

Survival in freezing water

The man slipped on ice near the well and fell into it.

Survival in freezing water

The accident took place in the village of Rassvet in Gomel region, where Sergei Belebnev (pictured) survived for 7 hours in icy water.

The doctors admit it is a unique case because usually people die in freezing water during the first hour from cardiac arrest. If this doesn’t kill the person, the next thing that happens is kidney failure. None of this happened to Sergei, although when he was taken out of the water he was incoherent and could not recognize anyone.

When medical professionals examined the patient, they were amazed to discover that he was almost healthy: The injured had no frostbite and his heart was functioning well. The man was diagnosed with a general hypothermia and a scratch on the forehead.

The doctors describe the guy as a small and wiry man, a hard worker who drinks at the end of the day, but not an alcoholic. His endurance and body reserves allowed him to survive. Besides, alcohol is high in calories. Though, he probably would not have fallen into the hole if he were sober. Admittedly, the man had some drinks the day before.

The survivor said he tried to keep moving all the time. He climbed up the chain 5 times and tried to lean on the walls to get out but slipped back.

It was pretty cold that day, below -10°C (14°F) with the water temperature around 4°C (39°F).

The survivor intends to securely lock the well forever and invite neighbors and family for a big party.

Screenshots: ONT.BY TV-Channel


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That’s an amazing accident, of course, but not very unique. Well, you can google bout Brian Cunningham, for example. It happened pretty long ago (in 1975), when 18 year old American fell through the ice and nearly died. He was drowned about 40 minutes (!!!) and reanimated than. Another documented “mostly drowned person” – Veggard Slettemuen from the Norwegian town of Lillestrom. That kid was also *frozen* in cold water for 40 minutes!