Popular Products

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Falling Through the Ice Survival

I got the inspiration for this writing from this article and as I started to research found this one. Many people here in Vermont love to ice fish and many people from hikers to snowmobilers use the ice as a way of getting from point A to point B. Personally being on ice gives me the creeps. I've been across lonesome lake over in New Hampshire several times as a short cut and always felt like I could go in at any time and that is the first thought you should have no ice is completely safe.

First How Long can you survive in freezing water:

The United States Search and Rescue Task Force has a risk list for when hypothermia might set in if you are submersed in water:
Water temperature: 32 degrees or below
Time until exhaustion or unconsciousness: Less than 15 minutes
Expected time of survival in the water: Less than 15 to 45 minutes
Water temperature: 32.5 to 40 degrees
Time until exhaustion or unconsciousness: 15 to 30 minutes
Expected time of survival in the water: 30 to 90 minutes
Water temperature: 40 to 50 degrees
Time until exhaustion or unconsciousness: 30 to 60 minutes
Expected time of survival in the water: 1 to 3 hours
Water temperature: 50 to 60 degrees
Time until exhaustion or unconsciousness: 1 to 2 hours
Expected time of survival in the water: 1 to 6 hours
Water temperature: 60 to 70 degrees
Time until exhaustion or unconsciousness: 2 to 7 hours
Expected time of survival in the water: 2 to 40 hours
Water temperature: 70 to 80 degrees
Time until exhaustion or unconsciousness: 3 to 12 hours
Expected time of survival in the water: 3 hours to indefinite
People can survive indefinitely in water temperatures above 80 degrees.
People have survived longer or shorter periods of time than outlined on this list. These are estimates.
As you can see the times are limited.
So be prepared to go in if you are on ice. Carry microspikes and some sort of probe to look for areas of weak ice. Carry an emergency blanket and reliable fire starters so that you can warm up we all remember the Jack London story.
If you go in brace yourself. Close your mouth so that you will not swallow water. If you can lean back a little to try to avoid complete submersion.  Try to stay calm. This is obviously counter intuitive. Not only is hard but your body will be going through cold shock. Panic is your worst enemy as you have time to get out.

Try to find the hole. Tread water and if your backpack is dragging you down get rid of it. Position your self to face the strongest part of the ice and kick with your legs as you pull your self up and out with your arms. Once out roll away from the hole and retrace your steps.

Then get inside and or warmed up and seek medical attention.

Got more ideas or stories you would like to share?

Vermont's Barre Army Navy Store is a full-service online shop offering camping, hiking, outdoor, military, and surplus gear and supplies.

No comments: