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Author Topic: How DANGEROUS Is Ice Fishing?  (Read 2579 times)

GCD

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How DANGEROUS Is Ice Fishing?
« on: Dec 13, 2016, 08:05 AM »
I thought about this so I decided to Google it, I Googled "ice fishermen drown after falling through the ice" and the result was saddening. Page after page of stories about tragic deaths of people partaking in the sport we all love. Fathers and sons, brothers, and best friends all perishing after falling through the ice.

https://www.google.com/webhp?gws_rd=ssl#q=fishermen+fall+through+the+ice+and+drown

The really sad part is that 9 out of 10 (if not all) of these people would be alive today if they had been wearing floatation.

A lot of people think (I used to be one of them) that you only have a few minutes after you go through the ice before hypothermia sets in and you die, but that's not true. You have a lot longer than that, up to an hour or more before hypothermia sets in... if you can stay afloat! The vast majority of people that die from falling through the ice don't die of hypothermia, they die of drowning. Their heavy clothes fill with frigid water and their muscles contract and cramp until they can no longer swim or tread water and their heavy wet clothes pull them under, this only takes about 10 or 15 minutes. Floatation enables you to keep your head above water for a lot longer and hopefully help will arrive.

How do I know this? There are some very informative videos on the internet that will help you stay alive if you'll watch them. They're made by a P.H.D professor from Manitoba named Dr. Gresbrecht.

Here are the videos:

This one is what to do if you fall through the ice:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gOW8ZaYqHA

This one is about the effects cold water has on the body:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1xohI3B4Uc

This one is about the advantages of floatation over not wearing floatation:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PAwzPgRYOI

Think about this before you go out on the ice, think about your family and friends that you love and they love you. Think of the hardship and sorrow they would endure should you not come back from an ice fishing trip.
Give a man a fish and you'll feed him for a day, give him a religion and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish... author unknown


RobertSt

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Re: How DANGEROUS Is Ice Fishing?
« Reply #1 on: Dec 13, 2016, 01:40 PM »
Always check thickness for yourself. Ice conditions can change fast with the cold. Ice is expanding and can cause pressure ridges. Common sense can go along way. Even then there is some risk.

Ice Scratcher

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Re: How DANGEROUS Is Ice Fishing?
« Reply #2 on: Dec 13, 2016, 01:43 PM »
I'm not condoning being unsafe, but more people die in plane crashes than ice fishing I'm guessing..

People die, all the time...

<)))>{

Spider1

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Re: How DANGEROUS Is Ice Fishing?
« Reply #3 on: Dec 13, 2016, 02:00 PM »
scratcher, that's because more people fly every day and when a plane goes down, usually lots of people die all at once.

panfishman13

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Re: How DANGEROUS Is Ice Fishing?
« Reply #4 on: Dec 13, 2016, 05:39 PM »
aviation deaths in 2015 was 560
fatalities from car crashes in 2015 was roughly 19,000
there are so few ice fishing related deaths that i haven't been able to find a national number for any year, let alone 2015.

you're more likely to die driving to and from your fishing spot than while you're actually on the lake.

just don't do stupid stuff. pay attention to ice thickness, and have a plan for what to do if you or someone else goes through. flotation is good, picks are necessary. always have a couple hundred feet of rope in the car, along with a change of clothes.

if you make a plan for what to do if your house catches fire, why wouldn't you make a plan for any other emergency situation you might find yourself in?

1MOFISH

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Re: How DANGEROUS Is Ice Fishing?
« Reply #5 on: Dec 13, 2016, 08:06 PM »
Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease   1 in 27
Intentional Self-harm   1 in 97
Unintentional Poisoning By and Exposure to Noxious Substances   1 in 103
Motor Vehicle Crash   1 in 113
Fall   1 in 133
Assault by Firearm   1 in 358
Pedestrian Incident   1 in 672
Motorcycle Rider Incident   1 in 948
Unintentional Drowning and Submersion   1 in 1,183
Exposure to Fire, Flames or Smoke   1 in 1,454
Choking from Inhalation and Ingestion of Food   1 in 3,408
Pedacyclist Incident   1 in 4,337
Firearms Discharge   1 in 7,944
Air and Space Transport Incidents   1 in 9,737
Exposure to Excessive Natural Heat   1 in 10,784
Exposure to Electric Current, Radiation, Temperature and Pressure   1 in 14,695
Contact with Sharp Objects   1 in 30,860
Cataclysmic Storm   1 in 63,679
Contact with Hornets, Wasps and Bees   1 in 64,706
Contact with Heat and Hot Substances   1 in 69,169
Legal Execution   1 in 111,439
Being Bitten or Struck by a Dog   1 in 114,622
Lightning Strike   1 in 174,426
the world is a dangerous place
GOD BLESS
mo
LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART AND SOUL AND STRENGTH and'LOVE THY NEiGHBOR AS THYSELF'   GOD

redjeep

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Re: How DANGEROUS Is Ice Fishing?
« Reply #6 on: Dec 13, 2016, 08:36 PM »
Extremely dangerous on the bank account.
Divorces
daydreaming about fishing while driving and operating machinery.

potatoe

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Re: How DANGEROUS Is Ice Fishing?
« Reply #7 on: Dec 13, 2016, 08:45 PM »
I was in a hurry this weekend and forgot to put picks around my neck, new to the sport but trying to be safe.

We had a local drown going out to save his dog who busted thru the ice just recently

GCD

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Re: How DANGEROUS Is Ice Fishing?
« Reply #8 on: Dec 13, 2016, 09:58 PM »
aviation deaths in 2015 was 560
fatalities from car crashes in 2015 was roughly 19,000
there are so few ice fishing related deaths that i haven't been able to find a national number for any year, let alone 2015.

you're more likely to die driving to and from your fishing spot than while you're actually on the lake.

just don't do stupid stuff. pay attention to ice thickness, and have a plan for what to do if you or someone else goes through. flotation is good, picks are necessary. always have a couple hundred feet of rope in the car, along with a change of clothes.

if you make a plan for what to do if your house catches fire, why wouldn't you make a plan for any other emergency situation you might find yourself in?

Picks may be useful in some circumstances, but are outdated and overrated compared to floatation. Picks don't work well with snow cover on the ice, and picks don't work well when the ice keeps breaking in front of you! Picks are so 1950!

Floatation is the way to go! Heavy snow cover? No problem, floatation will keep your head above the water so you can breathe! Thin ice keeps breaking when you pull yourself up with picks? No problem, floatation will keep your head above water when you're exhausted. Ice picks should be considered secondary to floatation, they won't keep your head above water if conditions aren't just right.

You can easily die with a set of ice picks around your neck or in your sleeves if your head is under the water and you gasp for breath on the initial plunge, it's really sad that some people are too ignorant to understand this. Ice picks are nothing more than another pound of weight to drag you under the water if you don't have floatation!!!

It would be interesting to see how many people have drowned without floatation and with ice picks around their neck or in their sleeves? I'm sure it's more than just a few.

Do you want to float on the surface until help arrives, or would you rather claw at snow cover and/or thin ice until your clothes saturate with water and your muscles cramp and you succumb to the depths??? Think about it!
Give a man a fish and you'll feed him for a day, give him a religion and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish... author unknown


river rat78

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Re: How DANGEROUS Is Ice Fishing?
« Reply #9 on: Dec 13, 2016, 10:13 PM »
Picks may be useful in some circumstances, but are outdated and overrated compared to floatation. Picks don't work well with snow cover on the ice, and picks don't work well when the ice keeps breaking in front of you! Picks are so 1950!

Floatation is the way to go! Heavy snow cover? No problem, floatation will keep your head above the water so you can breathe! Thin ice keeps breaking when you pull yourself up with picks? No problem, floatation will keep your head above water when you're exhausted. Ice picks should be considered secondary to floatation, they won't keep your head above water if conditions aren't just right.

You can easily die with a set of ice picks around your neck or in your sleeves if your head is under the water and you gasp for breath on the initial plunge, it's really sad that some people are too ignorant to understand this. Ice picks are nothing more than another pound of weight to drag you under the water if you don't have floatation!!!

It would be interesting to see how many people have drowned without floatation and with ice picks around their neck or in their sleeves? I'm sure it's more than just a few.

Do you want to float on the surface until help arrives, or would you rather claw at snow cover and/or thin ice until your clothes saturate with water and your muscles cramp and you succumb to the depths??? Think about it!
I've only been ice fishing for a probably just a little over 5 years now. I haven't fallen through and don't plan on it. I will however try to equip myself with the best tools possible to get out. That includes my Striker Flotation Suit along with my ice picks around my neck. Yeah you will probably break away at some ice trying to get out but if you try to backtrack you should be able to find some thicker ice that wont break away. You're right about flotation keeping your head above water but the picks would be just as helpful to pull yourself out to safety.

panfishman13

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Re: How DANGEROUS Is Ice Fishing?
« Reply #10 on: Dec 14, 2016, 01:33 AM »
Ice picks are nothing more than another pound of weight to drag you under the water if you don't have floatation!!!

what kind of picks are you using that weigh a pound? at the end of the day, i'd rather have a tool and not need it than need a tool and not have it.

especially when "getting noticed" is not even a possibility for most of the places i fish. in Idaho, most lakes are out of the way, and the only people that would be there are other fishermen. on top of that, my schedule often has me fishing in the middle of the week, so if i'm fishing alone, i don't have the option on waiting for someone else to rescue me, i HAVE to get out on my own, or i'm a dead man. this is my reality. flotation is great, and might help keep me from taking that big gulp of water, but unless i have a way to get myself back to shore, i might as well have just drowned immediately. having flotation solves one problem, having picks gives me options, tethering myself to my car when checking the ice gives me a guarantee.

also, this may be just me, but if the ice is breaking away from you trying to use picks to haul yourself out, you definitely should not have been on the ice in the first place. plan ahead, check the ice early and often, and always tell someone where you're going and when you plan to be home.

Spider1

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Re: How DANGEROUS Is Ice Fishing?
« Reply #11 on: Dec 14, 2016, 06:03 AM »
1# picks??? are they made of lead!

 You need to use the right tool for the job. The floatation keeps you afloat, the picks get you out of the water.

 panfishman13, every year hundreds of guys get wet, some only go in a little, some get soaked and thankfully most make it out of the water. But some don't. Happens every year. One of my best friends almost died under the ice when he was a young man.

 We use every tool we have to stay on top but sometimes stuff happens. If we purposely go out on thin or sketchy ice we increase the likelihood of something bad happening. The best tool we have is the one between our ears.

 I just read a report from a guy that was going out on a local lake. He said the ice was thin by the edge but got better a little further out. Further out? He walked out onto thin ice to check a little further out. I happen to know this lake well. You step out 10 ft and you're over 25' of water. That's a long way to the bottom.

Gills-only

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Re: How DANGEROUS Is Ice Fishing?
« Reply #12 on: Dec 14, 2016, 06:16 AM »
Some guys way over think this, if in doubt wait a couple more days!!  Take ur spud floating suit and picks and go fishing, having fun is the name of the game, although safety is always in the back of my mind. Common sense is what the majority lack, I can wait one or two days makes no difference. Have fished for over 50 years and never have been wet, that's no accident as I use my head!!

OldSailor

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Re: How DANGEROUS Is Ice Fishing?
« Reply #13 on: Dec 14, 2016, 06:28 AM »
X2  If in doubt, wait it out!!!
My two favorite college football teams are Ohio State and whoever's playing Michigan!!!

Don't reel against the drag!!!

esox_xtm

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Re: How DANGEROUS Is Ice Fishing?
« Reply #14 on: Dec 14, 2016, 06:30 AM »
I'm not condoning being unsafe, but more people die in plane crashes than ice fishing I'm guessing..

People die, all the time...

<)))>{

It's even more innocuous than that. Getting behind the wheel of your car/truck and heading down the road it the most dangerous thing you'll ever do. But I don't think that's the point here...

There's no room for carelessness in this pastime. I bought a SnoSuit in 2006 (or maybe 2007) from Jim Hudson. He  became a victim 3 years ago. Every time I suit up I think of that. How a seasoned, knowledgeable professional can fall to circumstances. We all think we know what we're doing but it only takes one wrong step (literally) for things to get ugly.

The sobering story can be read here: http://www.outdoornews.com/2013/01/31/wisconsin-guide-hudson-remembered-for-love-of-outdoors/

As Sgt. Esterhaus succinctly put it: "Hey.....Let's be careful out there!"
Not fish? Not an option!


"Life's too short to worry, life's too long to wait..."

Ice Scratcher

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Re: How DANGEROUS Is Ice Fishing?
« Reply #15 on: Dec 14, 2016, 08:14 AM »
He said the ice was thin by the edge but got better a little further out. Further out? He walked out onto thin ice to check a little further out.

That's how all lakes are...

Ice is always thin near the edge.

If I judged a whole lake by the shore ice, I might never fish..

<)))>{

GCD

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Re: How DANGEROUS Is Ice Fishing?
« Reply #16 on: Dec 15, 2016, 09:08 AM »
I was speaking philosophically about ice picks dragging you down, sorry if that went over some of your heads.

Floatation will be your best bet for surviving a break through on the ice. Ice picks will have merit when on bare/glare ice, but how often do you get to fish bare ice? If there's snow cover on the ice you're just going to dig trenches in the snow with your picks. If you even remember you have them or are able to use them when you fall through.

This video shows you how to get back on the ice without picks:
http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=survival+in+the+ice&view=detail&mid=BF2CE26BB7C3654BD8B1BF2CE26BB7C3654BD8B1&FORM=VIRE

Waiting is good, but won't insure that all of the ice will be safe. Ice thickness always varies and is never a uniform thickness. There will always be thick and thin spots.

It doesn't matter how long you've been ice fishing, there will always be risk of the "first time" for breaking through the ice. Even so called professional ice fishing guides go through the ice and die, people you think would be smart enough to know the risks and wear the proper safety equipment (floatation):
http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2013/01/27/popular-fishing-guide-dies-after-snowmobile-falls-through-ice/

Fishing alone in out of the way locations is all the more reason to wear floatation. I would also strongly suggest that the people that do this invest in a PLB:
https://www.google.com/webhp?gws_rd=ssl#q=buy+plb+online
Give a man a fish and you'll feed him for a day, give him a religion and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish... author unknown


BlueDuck

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Re: How DANGEROUS Is Ice Fishing?
« Reply #17 on: Dec 17, 2016, 09:23 AM »
The safest thing you can do is to use your head and think.  I have ice fished for more then 50 years.  I don't think I have ever had a year when I didn't see people do stupid things on the ice that they got away with,  just by being lucky. 

bullpine

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Re: How DANGEROUS Is Ice Fishing?
« Reply #18 on: Dec 18, 2016, 08:29 AM »
The chances of falling through the ice go way up when you include a car, ATV or snowmobile into the equation.  That said I want a good set of picks if I go down.  I would think a life jacket would get in the way when trying to get out of the hole and a floatation suit is way to hot for my activity level on the ice.  Early in the year I have been known to wear a life jacket, still want my picks handy though.

redneckdan

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Re: How DANGEROUS Is Ice Fishing?
« Reply #19 on: Dec 18, 2016, 09:49 AM »
The average human with full lungs is 3% less dense than water. So if you weigh 200 lbs you have about 6 lbs reserve bouyancy. Standing straight while floating, the crown of your head would be exposed. The average human needs another 7-12 lbs bouyancy to float with their head out of the water. A vest gives you a second chance if you go under and take in water. Once you reach the active drowning phase, you sink like a rock.

Someone mentioned a vest getting in the way of exiting. To date, I have not experienced that. I have self extricated with a technical swift water vest and a mustang inflatable both with and without a mustang suit. On strong ice, no picks wasn't a big deal. Approach it like get out of a pool, push down on the ice with your arms and flutter kick then roll out. On thin ice they made a big difference. The ice would collapse when I pushed down. By setting the picks, pulling my upper body onto the ice and then getting a leg up my weight was more distributed and the ice held.

In the end, you pays your money and takes your chances....

 

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