Monday, March 5, 2012

Ice safety myths and how to save yourself

Ice safety myths and how to save yourself – Tim Allard
Rating ***

As CWSS is in the Ottawa River’s perimeter and we are currently doing the winter activities unit, I was curious and thought it was important to know how to rescue yourself if you were to fall through frozen water and to learn the common myths about what makes ice safe or dangerous.

There are many myths about ice safety. A common misconception is that ice is the same thickness around an entire body of water. This is false. It may be solid in one area and dangerous in another. Some are taught that cold weather means solid and thick ice, but one must take into consideration: wind, temperature, snow, and water currents underneath which may weaken the ice. A few other myths discussed are that snow helps ice form quickly and thick ice is strong ice.

Although we are prohibited from being on the river during the winter months, it is important to know how to help if an accident were to occur as well as saving yourself and not making the situation worse. The article states that on average more than 30 Canadians die in ice-related incidents. Some of the steps that are mentioned include controlling your breathing after the shock of cold water, lifting yourself on to the ice, getting rid of the water weight and getting back to land. If you are unsure if the ice is safe, avoid it.

Allard, Tim. “Ice Safety myths and how to save yourself”. Ottawa Outdoors Magazine, Winter 2007/2008. Retrieved February 23 2012.

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