Ice Rescue Ladder

12/28/15 @ 10:21 AM
ORIGINAL POST
Team Lamboat
Team Lamboat
USER since 8/14/11
Yesterday 2 fellow ice fishermen (ages 76 & 33) died in Chippewa Falls, WI. Details haven't been released yet, but it looks like one of the men died trying to rescue the other. I fish this exact spot and would have been there if I wasn't feeling under the weather. I can't stop thinking about if I would have also died trying to save one of them had I been there or if I could have found something to save them without risking my own life. I hope this doesn't sound selfish but we have to think about our families even though our hearts go out to the victims families. I carry ice picks with me. This particular spot (Glenlock Lake) is a very short walk so I probably wouldn't have had my small plastic sled with me. I usually don't carry a long rope with me or in my vehicle. I'm not sure what I would have done or could have been done. I think I would have called 911 first before doing anything. I googled ice rescue and see that some places (I've never seen them in WI) put ice rescue ladders around lakes (Central Park, NYC for example). I know there are thousands of experienced ice fishermen out there and wanted to open a discussion about if an ice rescue ladder is a good thing? My opinion is that a person in the water might not be able to grab a rope or stick/pole and getting to the victim and grabbing them and pulling them out might be the only way to save them. How to do that without being a victim yourself? Will the ice rescue ladder distribute your weight so you can crawl out on the ladder to them? The 8' rescue ladders in the picture are made to link together, but I'd rather have a 16' one-piece ladder. I'm NOT asking for opinions if these should be at every lake or mean comments about how stupid it is to go out on thin ice. I know. Nobody risks their life for a 9" crappie. They obviously thought it was safe. It was safe in spots, guys have been fishing there for a week. But frozen lakes are never really completely safe. I've seen guys driving on 2 feet of ice with there trucks and then for some reason drive right into a river channel with skim ice. I try to wait for a good 4" of ice, but there have been times when the ice is mostly good, you get out there and get set up, start moving around, and then get on some scary thin spots before I realized it. If you ice fishing long enough, sooner or later, you will see somebody in the water. What do you bring with you to save yourself or somebody else?
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Displaying 1 to 7 of 7 Posts
1/1/16 @ 9:20 PM
buckneged
buckneged
MEMBER since 1/6/11
I carry this rope with me on all our adventures on the ice whether it be fishing or just snowmobiling around. I saw them when i was rafting out west. I would highly recommend it.

http://www.scuba.com/US/scuba-gear-117/030075/Innovative-Throw-Rope-Bag.html?gclid=CPqFjNSHisoCFQ8vaQodGTUJ-g

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1/1/16 @ 12:26 PM
cds
cds
USER since 9/18/01
Picks when conditions are iffy or unknown.

Spud bar spud bar spudbarspudbar...

If you fall thru at late - honeycombed - ice you may find that picks will only help you pull yourself up onto ice that still won't support your weight. On more than one occasion I used my spud bar to spread my weight as I got out on crappy honeycomb that I had no business being on - even if the water was only armpit deep.Keel on the bar...

I also pull my gear on a longer rope than most. I also usually travel with both a "gear sled" and a flip top with minimal gear inside that...ya know how when you start to pull your sled you have to give it a jerk to get it going?...That long rope has kept my gear from joining me in the water and that slight friction (sleds/ice) has given me a slight "anchor' to pull against.

I can remember all the major times I've gone thru - especially in deeper water or when I've had to wade a good distance...in the past I've had folks argue with me for suggesting that any risk is acceptable but heck - it's icefishing. Risk is inherent.

Those times I've fallen thru or walked on bad ice have taught me a lot about ice conditions - lessons I'd never had if I only walked out once the ice was 4" or more and quit once we've had the first good warm-up of late winter. Now that I chose to take less risk than I did when I was younger that knowledge keeps me dry now.

I may still sometimes be the first or last out in every season but that's on foot. Vehicles are different and I would never EVER be the first or last out there during any season. The risk is too great.

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1/1/16 @ 3:31 AM
Lectrotech
Lectrotech
USER since 11/19/09
I am trained and practiced at technician level for Ice Rescue. I've had scary moments in my life, taser trained, real guns pointed at me, fire flash overs, arc flash, accidentally falling through ice, etc. One of the worst was being put in a "gumby suit" tied off to 150 feet of rope and told to walk out on Lake Arrowhead until I fell through. Early ice cracks under you, I could see this, then the plunge. I was able to pull myself out with the picks. Next, get back in the water so I could be rescued by others on the F.D. test gear and such. Carry picks, pull a sled, have floatation.

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12/28/15 @ 4:55 PM
Fillet Show
Fillet Show
USER since 7/14/08
I like the thought Lamboat. While I have not seen someone go in during my lifetime, and I've ice fished for over 35 years, I dread the day I do see it. I am not a hero, and although I wouldn't stand there with my hands in my pockets, I wouldn't put myself in danger to save someone else. I think a rope is something I should have, just in case I find myself in that predicament. It would be good for high traffic areas, to have a ladder, especially where consistent crowds over 20 are there daily.

I feel for the families, and the time of year makes it even harder to bear, I'm sure.

We always say we will stay safe, and I carry picks, even on 2ft of ice, and I wear a striker floating suit, but what about the guy that doesn't have those with him, and needs help to get out? I think I'm getting a rope tonight to add to my gear for the whole season. You made me think about it too much. Thank you.

Fs

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12/28/15 @ 4:51 PM
cousincarmody
cousincarmody
USER since 2/9/10
I was very sorry to hear about this. I usually put a throw tied to a 20' piece of rope at the end of our pier for the duration of the season. I would think that the throw would be easy enough to get your arms around even with diminished motor skills from the cold. I know that some wear life vests out and I don't think that's a bad idea if you're just wanting to float until someone can get to you. But if the vest is bulky, I would think it would negatively impact your ability to get yourself onto the right side of the ice.

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