Ice fishing safety

“From November to December 2014, 6 fishermen drowned in the Orenburg region on the Or river. On November 11, returning home after fishing, my older brother fell under the ice from hypothermia. It was +5 outside, but the ice was still there. Another fisherman was never found. BROTHER fought for life to the last, judging by the size of the hole, about 20 minutes. Near the edge of the hole there were a tent and a backpack. The next day, rescuers pulled him out of the water, leaving 4 children. Submit an article on how to behave when going under the ice. “

The magazine “Fish with us” has repeatedly published materials on how to behave on ice at the beginning and at the end of winter. For example, in March 2012 the article “The first and last ice. Get in and not be lost. ” On the magazine’s website last year, on the eve of freeze-up, we also wrote about safety measures on the ice. The note gives advice on what to do when going out on the ice. We cite it in full so that this information gets to those who have not read it:

  • Be sure to take with you “rescuers” and a coil of rope with a loop and a load at the end. In the form of a load, it is better to tie a sock with sand in advance so that the rescued person does not receive a face injury in an unsuccessful throw.
  • Instead of an ice screw, grab an ice pick to probe the ice on your way to the fishing spot. If the ice breaks through with one blow, there is no point in going further – you will definitely fail.
  • Be sure to hang a whistle on your jacket. Water entering the larynx will cause spasms and may not be able to scream.
  • Don’t go alone, try to pair up. Then, even in a large company, it is easier to find a missing member of a fishing expedition and take timely measures to search and rescue.
  • Try to fish close to the shore: if you fall through the ice, you will reach the bottom with your feet, and not plunge headlong. It will be easier for you to get out. Under the coastal ice, you can successfully catch perch with a jig, balancer or spoon.

Ice fishing safety

What to do when going under the ice

And there was not a word about what to do when going under the ice. We fix the missing.

If you are reading this article, then there is still time to prepare for an unwanted event.

  • It would be nice, nevertheless, to get a float suit and go fishing in it. If I were the regional leaders of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, I would legally oblige not to let them on the ice without him and without “rescuers”. Hundreds of lives would be saved every year.
  • Have the means of rescue mentioned above before going out on the ice, and do not go fishing without them.
  • Don’t go out on the ice alone!

But if you already happened to fail, try not to panic, but to get together and fight for your life to the end, best of all, victorious. As a rule, when going under the ice, an involuntary inhalation occurs and the arms are spread to the side. There is a chance to put your hands on the ice.

If there are “rescuers” that must be hung around the neck (these can be two of the most primitive wooden handles from a locksmith’s tool, with sharpened nails driven into them), they can do something that can never be done with bare hands, namely: stick nail into ice, cling to its surface and pull yourself out of the hole. It is impossible to do this with nails, I tried it myself.

If there are no rescuers, and there is no help nearby, the chances of salvation drop dramatically. And yet, you need to try to turn around in the hole to face your tracks and only then try to get out to the surface. Because that was where the ice was that still held you. At the same time, try to get rid of anything that interferes with movement, for example, throw off your jacket.

You should not make an exit by force, as on a horizontal bar. The ice will collapse, and after two or three attempts, your strength will catastrophically end, and wet clothes will significantly add weight to you. Our grandfathers immediately tried to take off their felt boots and sheepskin coat. Modern clothing deprives us of this maneuver. Holding on to the edge of the ice, try to throw your leg onto the ice, and then roll onto the ice floe sideways.

This should be done very carefully and slowly, given that every unsuccessful attempt will take away strength. There are non-isolated cases in different places, when fishermen were found waist-deep frozen into the ice, they never managed to get out on its surface with their bare hands alone. If you have gone under the ice headlong, and when you exit do not fall into the wormwood, try to get yourself together, push off the ice, go into the depths and from there try to consider the brightest spot, which will be the wormwood.

My elder friend, when I was still a teenager, performed this maneuver three times, and only the third time did he fall into his wormwood. In sunny weather and with transparent ice, it is almost impossible to do this. When he talked about these freaks, everyone said that he was just lucky. However, he thought of this and survived. True, his comrades helped him out for years. On a river with a fast current, it is almost impossible to do this.

Moreover, having fallen through the current, it will turn out that your feet will be pressed against the ice downstream with their noses up, and your hands will frantically fumble over its surface, breaking your nails. The head at the level of the armpits will also look towards the legs, but so far over the ice. It is very difficult to get out in such a folded state. And it may turn out that the ice there will be even thinner and break off under your weight over and over again, taking away strength.

Here you should try, leaning with one hand on the edge of the ice, turn on your stomach and crawl towards the current, to where you fell. With a horizontal position of the body, there is a greater chance of crawling onto the ice. Again, provided that there is something to catch on to its surface. As you can see, without “rescuers” – nowhere. I became convinced of this by testing life suits and various methods of climbing onto the ice. An alternative to salvation can be a rope with a loop thrown to you, which you should put the loop on yourself.

You can try to stretch the victim a pole, belt, sleeve of the removed jacket. But they will help if the person who has fallen under the ice has enough strength. If he is weak and cold, then his hand is not able to grasp the stretched things with the necessary force. The outstretched hand of a comrade can be that saving straw, or maybe an anchor that will drag two unfortunate people into the wormwood.

But even if you are on the ice, it is too early to celebrate salvation. Cold, even in positive weather, is able to complete what it started with water. Running to the shore to the dry thickets of grass. Dry matches and a fire are your salvation. And every minute counts. Where to get them? The question arises: “What to do?” To do this, all “penguins” should make it a rule to carry with them several matches, “chirkalek” to them and a twist of birch bark, in a bag sealed in plastic in their clothes.

Several copies in different pockets are desirable. They will always come across and even get in the way when your hand gets into your pocket, but it is worse if they are not at hand just once. And again, having friends nearby gives you an additional chance for dry clothes, which they will share with you, taking off something from themselves.

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