Remember to venture out prepared!
If your planing to head out on the ice, remember to have some essntial gear with you:
Ice piicks or ice awls:
When trying to crawl out, lean your forearms on the ice mantel and spread your weight out as much as possible while digging into the ice with theice picks or awls. Use short arm reaches to pull yourself out, do not extend your arm to the full length; it will release body heat and exhaust you quickly.
The use of ice cleats can help reduce the chance of injury from falls atrributed to slips on on ice when used properly. Cleats provide exceptional traction and dig into the ice surface, especially in conditions where the ice is very smooth and slips/falls are more common.
Throw bags are a must when venturing on ice (not only when going out on the water). By having a throw bag with you it can be used in self rescue, as well as rescueing others.
Change of clothes
Remember to have a change of clothes in your vehicle or in a waterproof sack in your back pack. If you do fall through the ice, and become wet, it is best to get into dry clothing as soon as possible once your out of trouble.
- Head low in the water, mouth at water level
- Head tilted back with mouth open
- Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
- Eyes open, with fear evident on the face
- Hyperventilating or gasping
- Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
- Trying to roll over on the back to float
- Uncontrollable movement of arms and legs
If you see these signs, it may just be that the person in the water is in trouble. If you are able to do so, provide assistance, or call for help! Please remember your limitations, wear a life jacket and work with a buddy.