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Frantic Crowd Falls Into Icy Lake Trying to Save Stranded Man...But There's a Happy Ending

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"After five minutes, nearly a dozen people were in the water"

(Photo: Screen Shot/Mickey Herman via ABC)

(Photo: Screen Shot/Mickey Herman via ABC)

Video of an astonishing recent sequence of events in Wrightwood, California might make you think twice about sledding near a frozen lake.

The clip opens with the worst nightmare of everyone who grew up near a body of water that freezes in the winter.  A man has fallen through the ice, and is flailing for help.

Fortunately a crowd was nearby, and rapidly closed in to assist him.  ​But the ice appears to be more unstable than they predicted, and within seconds, nearly a dozen are in the same deadly position.

(Photo: Screen Shot/Mickey Herman via ABC)

ABC News has more:

After five minutes, nearly a dozen people were in the water while others throw ropes and inner tubes to no avail.

Mickey Herman pulled double duty. You can hear him calling for a rope to help in the rescue efforts all the while capturing the ordeal on camera.

"When the people started going through the ice, it was just total panic. You saw people taking their belts off. It was just total chaos and out of control. We saw that poor guy, the first one to go in, it was obvious he didn't know how to swim," he said. "We thought that might be it. We wouldn't see him again. Fortunately he came back up."

Nine minutes later, the man who first fell in along with all of his would-be rescuers managed to make it out of the water.

According to reports, there's not a lasting injury among them.

Watch the frightening video, via ABC, below:

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