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Thread: When You Fall Through the Ice...Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht

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    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    When You Fall Through the Ice...Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht

    Dr. Giesbrecht is a Canadian physiologist who operates the Laboratory for Exercise and Environmental Medicine at the Univeristy of Manitoba in Manitoba, Canada. He studies the effects of extreme environments, including cold, heat, hypoxia and hypobaria on the human body. I have come to know this gentleman in preparing survival medicine presentations to physicians and to pilots. His methods of research are sometimes chilling, pun intended.

    Please take 10 minutes and watch this video, and share some video time with your children and loved ones. The tips he uses in this demonstration are extremely useful should you fall through the ice.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gOW8ZaYqHA

    The importance of this at this time of year is great in Minnesota. We had a near tragedy here in Park Rapids a week ago when a man and woman went through the ice on an ATV. Today I was flying the super cub around to area lakes and was dismayed to see many ice fishermen out on the ice, vehicles and all, despite there being open water nearby. The ice is still a bit too thin for my liking at some of our area lakes, so I am choosing to put off landing for a few days until the sub-zero temps freeze the water a bit more.

    Dr. G's tips will save lives, folks. Please, please be careful, and please take a moment to watch this video.

    Thank you.

    Randy

    Medical Matters

    P.S. Here are two additional video by Dr. G:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyBVWrqvkEg
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PAwzPgRYOI
    Last edited by WindOnHisNose; 12-23-2017 at 06:17 PM.
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    Kyle Wolfe's Avatar
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    Good stuff, Randy. Even a life long Minnesnowten learned a few things.

    Thanks!
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    Rick Papp's Avatar
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    Randy, thanks for the links to the video. It was very well worth while to watch all of them. Margie and I both enjoyed watching them. Margie is deathly afraid of the water even though she can swim. We are going to show them to our grandkids as they come over for Christmas. Thank you Rick Papp
    Never stay level!!!!!
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    JP's Avatar
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    That was quite interesting and informative. Thanks for posting. We spend a fair amount of time on and about the ice and have witnessed some close calls over the years. And, unfortunately, some preventable losses. Some of the snowmobilers like to carry modified screwdrivers in a side pouch to help get out should they break through the ice. It also helps to know what to do to get warm after you've gotten yourself out of the water. That is another great topic.
    JP Russell--The Cub Therapist
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    hotrod180's Avatar
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    The sea water of Puget Sound is pretty darned cold year-round.
    Years ago, a friend of mine who was a pilot as well as being an old sailor told me that if I ever had to ditch in it,
    and there wasn't a boat handy to ditch next to,
    I should save myself and everybody else a lot of trouble and just swim for the bottom.

    After trying the new years day "polar bear dip" thing once years ago,
    I decided he was right.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!
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    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    https://www.nrs.com/product/2245.5/p...-life-ice-awls

    Or a fixed knife held backwards away from the blade. Kick up-float-pull-and roll.

    Gary
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    mvivion's Avatar
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    The good doctor reminds me of a PhD from the University of Victoria who brought a team of his graduate students to Cold Bay, AK to study the effects of cold water immersion. He was working on a better immersion suit and other work garments that would improve survivability in cold water immersion.

    Basically, he rigged up a swing that he could suspend from our dock, then put a graduate student in the swing, equipped with a rectal thermometer, and monitored the length of time it took their core temperature to drop.

    For a baseline, the first “dip” for each student was done in street clothes for an individual baseline. Then, they each got dipped wearing progressively warmer garments, concluding the experiment wearing the new at the time full immersion suit. Every time one of the students went in the water, they stayed till their core temp dropped a specified amount.

    None of the students’ body temps dropped while wearing the full immersion suit....and at least two of them stayed in the water for a looooong time.

    But one of their experiments was to develop a coat that boaters might actually wear (as opposed to an immersion suit, which isn’t very “wearable”) and its effectiveness in delaying the onset of hypothermia.

    The coat turned out to be quite effective in delaying the onset of hypothermia. At one point, I asked them why they’d come to Cold Bay, since near frozen water is pretty much the same temp everywhere. Their response was they wanted the credibility of having conducting testing in severe conditions.

    It was a fascinating illustration of the effects of cold immersion, and the fact that graduate students will in fact do anything in the name of research.

    A link to a story: http://web.uvic.ca/torch/torch2003f/feature_survival_science.htm
    MTV
    Last edited by mvivion; 12-24-2017 at 09:48 AM.
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    hotrod180's Avatar
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    The rectal thermometer reference gave me an idea.....
    how about something like one of those JC Whitney dipstick oil heaters for wintertime heat in an open cockpit or leaky airplane?
    Warm you from the inside out.....
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!
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    I fell through the ice while ice sledding in Michigan when I was 10 years old. My father had invented this particular type of ice boat back in the '50's (http://www.vintagesnowmobiles.50megs.com/PP15488.html) and it used to be a weekly thing, going out to the frozen lakes around SE Michigan and racing around. There'd be 30 or 40 of us, it was a big family deal, plus my father would be selling kits, plans, and complete sleds on the side. One day I had the urge to go a little further out, and then a little bit more further, who the hell knows what I was thinking, I was 10!

    I still remember the sinking feeling in my still descending testicles (ha ha) when I broke through the ice. At 10, you don't think much about death, but I instantly realized this was a very serious situation. Wearing heavy '50's style winter clothing, that weighed a ton dry, more when wet, I got back up to the surface after getting drug down 3 or 4' below by the sinking sled. then it was a "simple" matter of repeatably attempting to pull myself back onto the ice, while it broke off underneath me, until I either drowned or eventually made it to solid enough ice to support me. It turned out to be the latter. Then, all I had to do was jog (we called it running back then) a mile or so, in single digits temps, in that wet heavy clothing. Once back at the station wagon, I got a pass from my father and mother from being so stupid to get so far out, by surviving the adventure. To this day, I'm pretty sure that's the closet I've been to death. I do not recommend the experience!
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    Thanks Doc Randy! Very informative video. I've spent many many winters on frozen lakes but still learned a lot from this one, Pete Schoeninger.Click image for larger version. 

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    WhiskeyMike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    The rectal thermometer reference gave me an idea.....
    how about something like one of those JC Whitney dipstick oil heaters for wintertime heat in an open cockpit or leaky airplane?
    Warm you from the inside out.....
    Slightly off subject but... We put my HS girlfriend in our old original 220 Stearman for her first ride with me and my new private rating around 1965. When told to hold on to the fuselage frame she responded,... but won't I burn my hands on those pipes? We laughed uproariously. Say what? "Isn't there hot water in those pipes?" No sweetie, no hot water in the pipes. Fast forward 20 years to 1986 and now a 600 HP Stearman with a rear oil tank. Winter time and I'm frozen stiff, wrapping one hand and then the other round that pipe inside the cockpit running from the oil tank to the engine. She wasn't that crazy after all. Sorry I know this is superfluous to an important discussion.

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    I went through the ice on a snowmachine, it was colder than -40F. Was running a Marten line in Interior Alaska. Came down a frozen creek and went through just before the mouth where it joined a good sized frozen over river. Managed to pull the machine out and up a bank. Looked downriver to get an idea how far my wall tent with a wood stove in it was. I figured it was a little over a mile. I knew I would never make it that far in those temps! Managed to start a fire in a nearby stand of Spruce, I had a fire starter kit in a waterproof container and it started first try. My fingers were cold to the point that there wasn't going to be a 2nd try...After drying my gear enough to hike down river, I stayed at the emergency wall tent camp while trying to get the frozen machine running again. Eventually I hiked 47 miles down to our trapping cabin to get another snowmachine. That was a fun experience...
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    Great links Randy. When the researcher is putting himself through actual life and death scenarios it builds the credibility immensely.

    I fell into a cold November river when my kayak capsized. I didn’t think I was going to make it. The cold water zaps your strength quickly and water logged clothing makes it all the worse.

    Another time I was landing my former PA18 on a frozen snow covered reservoir on skis. Coasting to a stop it broke through the thin ice patch we went over. We were probably going 20 mph at the time, maybe a bit slower. I jammed the throttle forward and we kept moving until reaching solid ice again.

    Situations like this are no time or place for panic. Making good decisions quickly is important.
    "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything." Wyatt Earp
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    Barnstormer's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info Randy. That was all new to me and very timely.


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