Audrey usually accompanies her husband Kevin when he grooms the trails for a west Quebec snowmobile club. She says she doesn’t want him to be alone, in case something goes wrong.
Something did go wrong – and Audrey had a front row seat.
Kevin steered the snowcat out of the bush on an unfamiliar route and onto what he thought was a field. The couple quickly realized they were actually on a snow-covered lake. As Wiseman turned the heavy snowcat to get back on land, it plunged through the ice.
The couple was trapped under the ice in 12 feet of water.
Kevin told his wife, “Don’t panic, I think we have a few minutes [of air], then we hit bottom.”
Kevin first punched with his hands to try to break through the windshield, without success. He then used his head as a battering ram to smash the glass.
He quickly surfaced, only to discover his wife was still trapped below the ice in the cab, which was now full of water.
Audrey says at that moment, “I took two gulps. I said, ‘This is how I’m going to die. No more kids, no more husband. They’re going to lose us both.'”
Kevin dove back down but could not find his wife in the snowcat. He dove a second time but didn’t have enough air in his lungs and had to resurface. Kevin caught his breath and dove down a third time.
“Something in my head said, ‘You are going back under. You’re staying there, if you don’t have your wife.'”
“I felt his hand, and he just yanked me right out of there,” she said.
Kevin carried his wife to a nearby cabin. The woman who answered the door turned out to be a nurse who was able to help the couple, dressing them in warm clothes while they waited for emergency services.
Audrey was taken by ambulance to a hospital where she was treated for hypothermia.
“I call him my hero. If not for him, I would not be here,” she says.