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 Post subject: Through the ice
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:35 pm 
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One of our local guys went through the ice on a fairly large lake a few days ago. He had checked with the ice fishermen, and they said the ice was 6-8 inches thick. He had been back and forth across a bare spot several times, when the wind died and he stopped. He went through just as he was stopping. He tried climbing back up onto the ice (his snowboard was still on his feet), but the ice was only about 1/2 inch thick! He started to panic, and then doesn't remember how he got back up onto the ice. He did, fortunately, but has no recollection of how he did it. He's fine--just slightly bruised.

After he got back to his senses on the ice, he found himself lying down. He took his board off (still on VERY thin ice), and slid his board underneath him to help support his weight. He slid himself far enough away from the hole to get to thicker ice, put his board back on, launched his kite, and rode back to his launch site. No hypothermia, no broken anything. Very lucky guy.

It's really too bad he doesn't remember how he got back onto the ice. Anybody here ever go through that could tell us how they survived it? How they got back onto the ice? If the wind was up, I suspect you could use the kite to help. With essentially no wind, though, how did/could you do it?

As a sidenote--he was the only kiter on the lake, and the ice fishermen didn't see him. They were too far away, and had their backs to him due to the wind direction.

Don


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 Post subject: Re: Through the ice
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:40 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2010 1:26 pm
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I went through the ice once on Sandusky bay. The thin spot was covered with slushy snow and crusty ice. I was just walking along, didn't have a kite flying or anything but my ski boots on my feet. I had no trouble at all pulling myself back up on the ice.


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 Post subject: Re: Through the ice
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:39 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2002 1:00 am
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Location: rhode island
most ice boaters carry a pair of short ice-picks (or ice awl) in their pocket or around their neck.

in new england there is always a soft spot somewhere.
kites, ice-boats and free-skates cover so much territory that finding a holes before you see it is inevitable

the recipe for home-made is simple

2 each- 3/4" dia dowel - 4" lengh
2 nails ( 8 or 10 penny with heads cut off)
drill 2 holes in one face of each dowel.
left hole is tight enough to press fit one nail.
right hole is loose enough to act as sheath for nail in other dowel.


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 Post subject: Re: Through the ice
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:16 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 6:18 am
Posts: 383
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Watch this video. Lots of good tips for "What To Do If You Fall Through The Ice". It's a lot easier not to panic when you understand how much time you actually have before your screwed. This guy (a local prof) stays in the water a long time.


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 Post subject: Re: Through the ice
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:56 am 
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Great video. 5 minutes doesn't sound like a lot of time to get yourself out of the ice, but I'll bet when you're in there, it seems like much longer. Ice picks would help once you broke through enough thin ice to get to where the ice would support you at least a little bit. I've always thought that there would be at least some pull from your kite, and that would be your best bet. Getting the snowboard off so you can kick sounds like something you'd need to do pretty quickly before you lost feeling in your hands. I've got Flow bindings, so that would probably be easier than with straps and ratchets.

Don


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 Post subject: Re: Through the ice
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:51 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2010 1:26 pm
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Don Monnot wrote:
One of our local guys went through the ice on a fairly large lake a few days ago. He had checked with the ice fishermen, and they said the ice was 6-8 inches thick. He had been back and forth across a bare spot several times, when the wind died and he stopped. He went through just as he was stopping. He tried climbing back up onto the ice (his snowboard was still on his feet), but the ice was only about 1/2 inch thick! He started to panic, and then doesn't remember how he got back up onto the ice. He did, fortunately, but has no recollection of how he did it. He's fine--just slightly bruised.

After he got back to his senses on the ice, he found himself lying down. He took his board off (still on VERY thin ice), and slid his board underneath him to help support his weight. He slid himself far enough away from the hole to get to thicker ice, put his board back on, launched his kite, and rode back to his launch site. No hypothermia, no broken anything. Very lucky guy.

It's really too bad he doesn't remember how he got back onto the ice. Anybody here ever go through that could tell us how they survived it? How they got back onto the ice? If the wind was up, I suspect you could use the kite to help. With essentially no wind, though, how did/could you do it?

As a sidenote--he was the only kiter on the lake, and the ice fishermen didn't see him. They were too far away, and had their backs to him due to the wind direction.

Don

Is this the guy you were talking about?

Snowkiter plunges into Pewaukee Lake


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 Post subject: Re: Through the ice
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2008 6:21 pm
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Damn that story gives me the heebie jeebies. I'm on early ice based on ice fishing reports and what worries me is gas holes and pressure cracks that are moving apart. I was walking on 12" of ice and one leg went thru an open crack that had a skim of ice and 1/2" of new snow , totaly invisable at first glance , my other leg must have come forward onto the otherside and launched me out of there in milliseconds. I now carry ice picks rubberbanded to my upper arms so I can reach them with one quick movement. I cant even imagine how he got out with a snowboard attached.


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 Post subject: Re: Through the ice
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:02 pm 
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Yup, that's the guy.

Don


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 Post subject: Re: Through the ice
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:08 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 9:49 am
Posts: 1126
Location: shallow sea
5 minutes? i don't think so. more like 20 or even 30. good snow wear can help much. if you are in the icy water and you see help coming close, stop kicking pull your legs under you, put your arms on the ice and wait for the help. other wise you are wasting your energy.

at the moments like this kite is probably only thing that can pull you out or somebody can pull you out using your kites lines. and of course after you are pulled out stay on your stomach while dragged away from the hole or roll sideways from it to minimize pressure on the thin ice. same goes to if you are trying to approach to the person in distress.
icepicks are very helpful in these situations.

but more important is the prevention of situations like that. know your terrain, check the ice thickness before session. listen to the sounds from the ice beneath you, if you hear cracking go to the safe place and let everyone else to know about the danger.
rule of thumb 5cm or 2'' of ice can carry a 100kg or 220lb. under the snow layer ice builds up much slower. often there are springs under the water, which can thinner the ice remarkably. and most important never kite alone!


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 Post subject: Re: Through the ice
PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:35 am 
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Where we live, if you don't kite alone sometimes, you won't kite very often. My rule of thumb is that I won't kite by myself unless there are other eyes on me. They might be boaters, folks along shore, ice fishermen, etc. In Tom's case, I would alaso have gone out. He checked with the ice fishermen, and they said there was 8 inches of ice. That sounds like plenty to me. There were ice fishermen there, just not in the immediate vicinity of where he went through the ice. At the spot he went through, the guys were too far away from him to hear him shouting, and had their backs to him and didn't see him. I suspect that there were some folks on shore that may have noticed him, but not that he had gone through the ice. The launch site is on a main drag of a small town, and there are restaurants across the street from the lake and the windows face the lake. I suspect Tom was too far away for them to clearly see that he had gone through the ice. He also made it back out onto the ice pretty quickly (sounds like less than 5 minutes), so no alarm was sounded. I'll bet that if he had been stuck in the water very long, folks would have alerted the authorities pretty quickly.

As an example, when I was kiting on Lake Michigan (no other kiters) in March a few years ago, the wind was super light and my kite came down. It took about a half-hour of dangling in the water before the wind picked up enough for me to relaunch. I was only about 200 yards from shore, but quite comfortable so I didn't wrap up and swim in. By the time I had relaunched the kite, the EMT guys were headed for me because "several" calls had been made believing I was in trouble. I was a bit embarrassed, but glad that folks on shore had made the calls when they saw somebody that they thought was in trouble.

So the "don't kite alone" admonishment is a good one, but "alone" doesn't necessarily mean "a lone kiter". However, there is a lake nearby where I won't kite unless there's another kiter with me, because at that location I would likely be truly "alone".

Don


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