Couple's shortcut across ice ends at the bottom of Lake Winnipeg

First sign of trouble, 2 hours into journey: They spotted a huge crack.

A Canadian couple is lucky to be alive after their truck crashed through lake ice during a shortcut and sank into the frigid waters of Lake Winnipeg earlier this week.

According to the CBC, Ko'ona Cochrane and her partner left their place in Manigotagan, which is on the east side of Lake Winnipeg, to head to her mother's place in Peguis on the west of the lake. Instead of making the 3 1/2-hour trek around the southern tip of the lake, Cochrane and her partner decided to cut some time off their trip by driving across.

"We figured we would save two hours by going from Manigotagan across the lake," Cochrane told CBC News. It wasn't a bad plan, as the weather had been incredibly cold all winter and ice on the lake was about 3 feet thick. Unfortunately, it didn't really work out as they hoped it would.

The drive was smooth sailing for the first bit of their journey, but as they approached Hecla Island things took a turn for the worse. First they spotted a huge crack running across the ice and decided to change course to avoid it.

"But there was another crack there and then next thing you knew our truck went down," she said. "My partner slowed down to avoid it but it swallowed the truck."

The truck went in nose first and the cab quickly filled with icy water. The couple grabbed what they could from the cab and clambered out on to the ice. The truck took a minute to sink into the lake. Luckily, Cochrane still had her phone and was able to call for help. Cold, wet, and carrying what they could rescue from the truck, the couple then made an hour long hike to the lake's western shore where they were met by the RCMP, conservation officers, and an ambulance.

Thankfully the two intrepid ice drivers weren't injured during the incident, but Cochrane reported that her pride was bruised.

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