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 Post subject: Red Cross know the Dangers of Ice
Post Posted: Feb 20, 2018 5:42 pm 
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Know the Dangers of Ice
Volunteer Michelle Adams

Know the dangers of ice :cold:

Many factors affect ice thickness including: type of water, location, the time of year and other environmental factors such as:

Water depth and size of body of water. Currents, tides and other moving water. Chemicals including salt. Fluctuations in water levels. Logs, rocks and docks absorbing heat from the sun. Changing air temperature. Shock waves from vehicles traveling on the ice. Ice Colour The colour of ice may be an indication of its strength. Clear blue ice is strongest. White opaque or snow ice is half as strong as blue ice. Opaque ice is formed by wet snow freezing on the ice. Grey ice is unsafe. The grayness indicates the presence of water. Did you know ice thickness should be:

15 cm for walking or skating alone 20 cm for skating parties or games 25 cm for snowmobiles. Check with local authorities before heading out. Avoid going out on ice at night.

When You Are Alone On Ice If you get into trouble on ice and you're by yourself:

Call for help. Resist the immediate urge to climb back out where you fell in. The ice is weak in this area. Use the air trapped in your clothing to get into a floating position on your stomach. Reach forward onto the broken ice without pushing down. Kick your legs to push your torso on the ice. When you are back on the ice, crawl on your stomach or roll away from the open area with your arms and legs spread out as far as possible to evenly distribute your body weight. Do not stand up! Look for shore and make sure you are going in the right direction.

When You Are With Others On Ice Rescuing another person from ice can be dangerous. The safest way to perform a rescue is from shore. Call for help. Consider whether you can quickly get help from trained professionals (police, fire fighters or ambulance) or bystanders. Check if you can reach the person using a long pole or branch from shore – if so, lie down and extend the pole to the person. If you go onto ice, wear a PFD and carry a long pole or branch to test the ice in front of you. Bring something to reach or throw to the person (e.g. pole, weighted rope, line or tree branch). When near the break, lie down to distribute your weight and slowly crawl toward the hole. Remaining low, extend or throw your emergency rescue device (pole, rope, line or branch) to the person. Have the person kick while you pull them out. Move the person to a safe position on shore or where you are sure the ice is thick. Signal for help.

Hypothermia and Cold Water

In cold weather you should wear multiple layers of dry clothing, a wind or waterproof outer layer and a PFD or lifejacket.

Cold water protection gear can also be worn. Some examples are:

Wet suit
Dry suit
Immersion suit
Survival suit
Exposure coveralls
What happens?
Your skin and blood temperature in your arms and legs drop quickly
You start shivering
You may have trouble breathing and be unable to use your hands
The temperature of your heart, brain, and other organs drops gradually
You may become unconscious, and if you are in the water, you may drown
If your body temperature drops further, you can die of heart failure
What are the signs?
Continual shivering
Poor coordination of movements
Slowing down and falling behind
Numb hands and feet leading to stumbling and clumsiness
Dazed, confused, careless or forgetful behavior
Slowed or slurred speech; slow response to questions
Dilated pupils
Decreased attention span
Increasing your odds
Try to get your body out of the water. Climb onto the boat. Haul yourself onto a log or dock. Grab onto a floating object. Cold water depletes body heat faster than air.
If you are alone and if you are wearing a approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD), slow down body heat loss through the Heat Escape Lessening Position (HELP). The HELP position can increase your survival time by 50%.
Cross your arms tightly against your chest and draw your knees up. Remain calm and still. Do not try to swim. Unnecessary movement will use energy that your body requires to survive. Practice the HELP position with a friend in warm water!
If you are with other people wearing PFDs, everyone should ‘HUDDLE’. You may increase your group’s survival time by 50%.
HUDDLE with everyone’s chests and sides close together. Intertwine legs and extend your arms around the people next to you.
How do I prepare?
Wear a Canadian-approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD).
Some PFDs provide insulation against cold water.
Wear a whistle on your PFD or clothing. A whistle can be used to signal for help.
In cool weather, wear rain gear over and/or wool clothes under your PFD. Wool insulates even when wet. Wear layers of clothing and a hat. As much as 60% of body heat loss occurs from the head.
Carry matches in a waterproof container. A fire can help you warm up after exposure to cold or can help you signal for assistance.
Bring high-energy food (e.g. chocolate bar) containing sugar.
Check with your local weather office before you head out. Be alert to changes in the weather that could influence your safety.
Be prepared. Don’t go out alone. Tell a responsible person where you are going and when you plan to return.
It is always a good idea to leave a trip plan before going out on the water. Always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return. A trip plan can be left with your local Coast Guard, a marina, friend or relative. Do not deviate from your filed trip plan.
Know your craft and how to handle it in both calm and rough conditions. Do not overload.
Avoid the use of alcohol. It doesn’t warm you up and will interfere with your ability to make critical judgments.

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