The Pick-Of-Life® is a lifesaving
tool for anyone venturing onto the ice. Rescue professionals, ice
fisherman, snowmobilers and outdoor enthusiasts rely on the
Pick-Of-Life® as standard safety equipment. The Pick-Of-Life® provides
solid hand holds enabling a victim to climb out of a hole in the thin
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awls are for self rescue. They assist you in crawling on top of the
ice, or you may slide the picks over very thin ice to someone else who
has fallen through.
Keep your Pick-Of-Life®
awls above your waist, either around your neck, in an open chest
pocket, or strung through your coat sleeves, one at each hand.
This enables you to reach them
quickly while immersed in deep water -- without letting go of the ice.
Each person should keep a whistle with their winter gear. It takes
less effort to blow a whistle than to yell.
If you break through the ice, cover
your mouth and nose immediately. The shock of the cold water triggers
your body to gasp, thus you ingest water that may cause you to gag.
When trying to crawl out, lean your forearms on the ice mantel and
spread your weight out as much as possible while digging into the ice
with the Pick-Of-Life®
Use short arm reaches to pull
yourself out, do not extend your arm to the full length; it will
release body heat and exhaust you quickly. As you pull yourself out,
kick your feet as though you are swimming. This greatly assists your
efforts in crawling out. Once you're on the ice, remain face down and
completely flat on the ice. This distributes your weight to the
maximum amount of surface. Continue to use your Pick-Of-Life®
awls and crawl to safe ice or shore.
Wear polypropylene long underwear
and a wool or pile middle layer to provide extra warmth from trapped
air, and to add extra buoyancy.
Pick-Of-Life® awls are for
self rescue only. Do not leave shore to assist someone who has fallen
through the ice. Throw something for him to hold onto and call trained
rescue personnel immediately.
Ice thickness and strength may vary
considerably on the same body of water. The ice should be checked in
several places before determining the thickness and integrity.
Moving across ice should be done
slowly and carefully, distributing as much of your weight as possible
across the ice surface. Use sliding steps (don't pick up your feet as
you walk) to avoid your weight being focused under a single foot.
Carry a walking stick to tap the ice
as you walk. A hard resonant sound usually indicates good ice, a dead
"thud" signifies bad or weak ice. If you find ice that sounds bad, you
should immediately retreat and try another route.
affect ice formation:
Structures through the ice, such
as bridge piers, weaken ice because of absorbed heat
Underground springs weaken ice
Waterfowl & fish prevent ice
River ice is weaker than lake ice
duet to currents
A light wind speeds up ice
formation, heavy winds prevent it
Perimeter ice is weaker due to
shifting, expansion and sunlight reflecting off the bottom
Standing water on ice erodes it
Hypothermia (the cooling of the
body's core temperature) quickly impairs a person's ability to think &
move. It occurs within minutes, so call for help -- IMMEDIATELY!