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This thread could save your life

Discussion in 'IceFishingMichigan.com' started by MiketheElder, Nov 19, 2006.

  1. MiketheElder

    MiketheElder

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    For all the newbies on this site, please read this twice.


    -----------------------

    The date was Dec. 29 1999. Me and 3 friends were fishing a few hundred yards of Metro beach. We were on 6 “ of good ice there was a light breeze blowing in shore with a little misty rain.
    I was sitting facing shore, in a one man shanty, door open My friends on buckets next to me. Out of nowhere a powerful wind hit me in the face. It was so strong it made me stand up and when I did my shanty blew from under me.
    There were approx 50 persons on the ice and everyone started running at once towards shore. By the time we got to 100 yards form shore, our progress was stopped by an open pressure crack, only 8 foot wide. All 20 of us on the wrong side of the crack, looked for options with in minutes the crack was 10 foot. We were on an ice chunk 1/2 by 1/2 mile.
    I made my first call 911 when I realized the ice chunk was not connected to shore. After 1/2 hr passed we could hear sirens . Another 1/2 hr passed and the wave height was 2 foot and I realized the ice was sinking and breaking at a slow rate forcing us to walk further out. The temp dropped 20 degrees and a snow squall blew in. I made my second call and my phone went dead. Another 1/2 hr. finally a boat. Harrison fire dept. showed in a 14 ft jon boat with an 8 hr. motor. Wave height was 4 ft. and the light was fading. Eight persons made it on the boat , one fire fighter stayed on the ice with us. 1 hr later we found out the boat almost sunk and they were sending out a hovercraft. The Fire fighters light went dead and radio got wet. (no flares) we watched as the hovercraft drove from Metro to Ginos 1/2 hr later 3 got a ride on the Hovercraft.
    12 still on the ice including my 2 friends. I know the lake and could barely see with the dark and snow we were passing Metro. Into the big lake I knew it was bad. We long ago left our gear on the ice and watched it go under as the ice sunk in the ever increasing waves. We were forced to keep heading out on thinner ice.
    Another hour of cold wet hell. It was time to lay on the ice covered with 2 inches of water. Clothing was freezing. Finally a helicopter. As they lit us up I could see the ice swelling up to up and down by about a foot. I thought it was from the helicopter turbulence pushing on the ice. It was a 20 min. ride to Selfridge and 10 min ride back due to wind. Another 1/2 hr. As the light hit the ice I could see it was swelling 3 to 4 foot and I lost sight of my friends only yards away. I fully realized This was wave action and the ice was about to break. Another flight off me my 2 friends and 3 person along with the fire fighter left. Another half hour. We were lying on only a approx. 300 yards of ice, water on both sides. This time the light scared the hell out of me. Ice was breaking up and flexing terribly. I was the last one on the Helicopter. I felt a relief that I couldn’t describe and felt sick that my friends one person and the fire fighter were still out there
    As we lifted off I watched the ice break up completely . The waves and ice chunks were huge.
    My one friend did not have a life jacket on he was holding on to a hunk of ice that kept rolling his hood froze to the ice and it turned him under. He was exhausted and let his arms go, giving up. He saw a bright light and thought it was the end . It was the helicopter. The rescuer dunked and grabbed him. They got everyone accept my other friend and Fire fighter, who were picked up by the hovercraft. On the way back in the hovercraft it ran out of gas and capsized found 20 min later by the Helicopter.
    Later we found that our group had our last rights read to us by a priest from shore and that we had drifted into Canada past the light .
    I commend the Cost guard They were the only professionals that Could have helped us. also the Fire fighter who was involved on the ice.


    Ed Michrina

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I bought a Mustang Survival Suit because of this thread and I plan on buying one for my son for Christmas.

    I'm glad I've gotten the chance to know you, my friend.

    Big Mike
     
  2. Connor4501

    Connor4501

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    A great reminder as ice season draws nearer...;)
     

  3. skid

    skid

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    Thank you big Mike for posting this again, Thank you Ed for sharing your experience. So glad you are with us today.
     
  4. Thunderhead

    Thunderhead

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    Holy crap. Close one, too close.

    That Firefighter deserves the highest honor and respect. That man has some serious sand.
     
  5. lovetofsh

    lovetofsh

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    Very happy you are still with us my friend, thanks for the reality check for all of us that enjoy hardwater fishing. It doesn't matter if we are new on this site or even the most seasoned veteran - a bad day on the ice could happen to any of us. We "all" pray it won't happen to anyone. excellant life experience...... :fish:
     
  6. GonzoFisherman

    GonzoFisherman Banned

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    My god--that sounds terrifying
     
  7. lkmifisherman

    lkmifisherman

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    OK......So maybe I won't take up ice fishing!!!

    At least not on any of the Great Lakes.....

    LMF
     
  8. Firemedic

    Firemedic

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    I have a friend who is a Lt on Harrison Twp FD. He tells me all of the time of the ice rescues they respond to. Those Mustang suits are expensive, but WORTH it. We have 7 on our Rescue. I can tell you first hand, those suits will save your life. I have been in ice rescue situations/training, where I have been in the water for over 6 hours, and not so much as a pinkie got cold. Mike, thanks again for this reminder.......
     
  9. JDHUNTER

    JDHUNTER

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    Thanks for sharing that with us, what a story. glad a turned out ok. Thank god for the people that risk thier lifes to save others.
     
  10. Steve

    Steve Staff Member Admin

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  11. ifish4eyes

    ifish4eyes

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    That's one of the reasons I wear my life jacket. Cause I'm not goin out like that.
     
  12. muckamuck4

    muckamuck4

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    I have never though about wearing a life jacket while ice fishing. Sounds like a good idea. I know a few min. could be the difference between life and death, but wont you die fairly quickly due to hyp?

    Thanks for the story. Its a good reminder that we are not above mother nature.
     
  13. MiketheElder

    MiketheElder

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    You can overcome hypothermia, you can't win against water in your lungs.
     
  14. ifish4eyes

    ifish4eyes

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    Expected Cold Water Survival

    Temperature Fahrenheit-------------Exhaustion/Unconscious----------- --Expected Survival

    32.5---------------------------------------- <15 min. --------------------- 10 to 45 min.
    32.5 - 40----------------------------------- 15 - 30 min. ------------------ 39 to 90 min.
    40 - 50------------------------------------- 30 - 60 min. ------------------ 1 to 3 Hours
    50 - 60------------------------------------- 1 - 2 Hours ------------------- 1 to 6 Hours
    60 -70-------------------------------------- 2 - 7 Hours ------------------- 2 to 40 Hours
    70 -80-------------------------------------- 3 -12 Hours ------------------ 3 to Indefinitely
    Over 80------------------------------------ Indefinitely --------------------- Indefinitely

    Also experts say that if you fall through and are not out in five minutes your going to need help getting out.
     
  15. JDHUNTER

    JDHUNTER

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    That's good to know!