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Woman body-shamed after video of water rescue from icy Lake St. Clair goes viral

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Posted at 12:27 PM, Feb 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-01 15:07:37-05

HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — A Michigan woman rescued from the frigid cold waters of Lake St. Clair is now dealing with a much more shallow issue – body shaming.

The video of Korisa Miller's rescue was posted on the Macomb County Sheriff's Department's Facebook page Tuesday with her permission to warn others about the dangers of ice fishing.

But some people instead of applauding the rescue, started to attack her weight.

Miller says she was ice fishing with a friend at Beacon Cove in Harrison Township Monday afternoon when she suddenly slipped and fell off the dock into the water.

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"By the time she got to me I was already down in the water and the water was up to my chin," Miller said.

She was in the bone-chilling water for about 15 minutes as her body started to go numb.

"I just know I didn’t want to die," Miller said.

Her friend Melissa Kovlowski was nearby and tried helping her out of the water.

"I just kept screaming at her," Kovlowski said. "I said you’ve got to stay up, you’ve got to stay up, you’ve got to keep your head up."

Miller was wearing a hoodie when she went in the water. When officers arrived it was floating up around her neck. They removed it so it wouldn’t chock her while officers were trying to pull her out. Finally, after several attempts, Miller was out of the water.

"It was better than any feeling that the worrying was over," Kovlowski said.

But once Miller's ordeal was over, another one began. This time in the comment section of the video posted on Facebook. People body-shamed Miller, making light of the situation by insulting her weight and even what she was wearing.

"I actually had two pairs of pants on and a hoodie and a winter coat," Miller told ABC News. "They actually kind of floated up and it made me feel like I was sinking and then every time there was a pull, I felt like I was getting choked, so we ripped those off so I could breathe and we could get me out of there."

Some commenters came to her defense, urging others to stop body-shaming people. Some posts read:

"So easy to sit behind a screen and be nasty to people."

"Thank God they got her out in time and shame on people criticizing her body shape."

"The trolls out there need to realize that there are people at will stand up for themselves," said Miller. "You need to bring people up instead of tearing people down."

Korisa Miller told ABC News she used to weigh 400 pounds. She says people have no idea how hard she's worked to get to where she is right now.

When the sheriff's department posted the video, they didn't identify her, but she says she had to come forward and speak up for herself.

The Macomb County Sheriff's Office released this response to Miller's story:

“The woman is brave and courageous. And for her to share her story is wonderful. She may have saved someone else from making the same mistakes.Ultimately she could have saved someone’s life.”

The video been viewed more than 100,000 times.