Saturday, March 07, 2009
"An Ice Roll, Kayaking Perspective"
May you never find yourself like this in ice cold frigid water. Our Search and Rescue crew had ice rescue training today on Long's Pond. About minus 10 Celsius with wind and snow. Excellent conditions.
If however you are paddling near ice and become one with the water here are a couple of tips. First off if you are paddling near ice you had better be dressed for it. Ice picks are a good safety tool. Two four-5 inch long wooden dowels with a nail in the ends of each will work fine as long as the tip is sharp, (pointed out). When you approach the edge of the ice sheet you will undoubtedly start breaking pieces away.
Continue what you are doing shoving pieces under the ice ahead of you or at the very least moving them out of your way. I actually was able to use broken pieces behind me to plant a foot on to give me that extra little boost to climb aboard the sheet. I wouldn't rely on that but it worked for me.
Getting on the ice sheet is a slippery endeavour to say the least.....after all it is ice! And wet ice! Don't despair you will be able to climb aboard just remember a most crucial thing, a most crucial self rescue technique, like the kayak roll is, when you have a good chunk of your upper body on the ice sheet "roll your body" away from the ice sheet edge. Once you have done this do a quick survey to see if standing is a safe option. If not by displaying and distributing your weight on the ice sheet you spread your body's surface area decreasing the chances of another break through. Wait for help or if safe shimmy to safety. You've just executed an "ice roll" and can now add another roll to your arsenal.