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PFDs for ice fishing

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With the recent loss over the weekend, I can't help but wonder if a PFD would have saved him. Last week I caught an episode of The Next Bite that had the Ice Team out on Devils Lake. At least one of the guys was wearing an inflatable PFD. I instantly noticed it because it's not something you normally see on any fishing show, but especially not ice fishing. I do believe it was late ice though so that must have been the reason he was wearing one.

I'm not advocating it one way or another and I'm definitely leery of even more regulation on our outdoor sports, but I'm curious if any states have tried to pass legislation making a PFD or a floating ice suit mandatory. Just looking for opinions to help form my own opinion.

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Obviously this is a tough subject to discuss right now considering the circumstances.

My personal opinion is that anything can happen to anyone at anytime, and the recent tragedy was a good reminder of that.

A floating suit or PFD is not a free pass to be reckless, but there may be a time and place in which it could very well save your life. For that reason I have always thought that flotation type suits such as Arctic Armor, Striker, Mustang, etc are a great idea and while I may never have to use it, I feel better wearing my floating suit.

Esposito told Foley he tried to rescue Hudson and twice broke through the ice himself trying to haul him out of the water.

“He (Esposito) did everything he could to save Jim,” Foley said.

Foley said he’s thankful that Esposito at least was wearing a flotation suit and observed: “If he hadn’t had that suit, we might easily have lost two friends yesterday.”

Out of respect for Jim, I kind of feel that its too soon to even talk about this stuff, but something tells me the kind of guy he was he would welcome this discussion.

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First let me say I feel terrible about Jim Hudson . Most ice fisherman wear floater suits in Ontario it's not the law .I stand out in my Ice Armour which I love but lately have been using a Striker Ice suite as we have had poor ice the last two seasons .

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............... and I'm definitely leery of even more regulation on our outdoor sports, but I'm curious if any states have tried to pass legislation making a PFD or a floating ice suit mandatory. Just looking for opinions to help form my own opinion.

You answered your own question.

Minnesota is the land of 10,000 LAWS......... we don't need another. As horrible as this accident was, it was just accident.

Let's allow common sense to prevail without big brother.

If you force people to wear one, some won't. Keep it a choice, not a law....

..........This is coming from a guy that wears a seatbelt, and a helmet on an ATV (don't have too... but it's my choice)

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Yes, I don't think there's anything wrong with a conversation that might involve someone being safer while on the water. I didn't know Jim but of course feel terrible for his friends and family.

Working in Alaska years back I had a friend/coworker named Ryan Good. After working for 3 weeks straight he finally got a day off and took one of our small boats out to fish a river mouth coming into our little mountain lake. He didn't come back for dinner so my boss and I went to where his boat was parked and he was nowhere to be found. There were boot tracks in the sand to the river's edge from the boat and his life vest was still in the boat. He was swept away with waders on. The AK state troopers came out to search the ice cold glacier melt water with air searches, divers, etc. But we never found him. A few days later I had to take his parents and sister from Colorado down the lake to where he disappeared. I'll never forget it of course- his mom said 'a life vest may not have saved his life in the cold water but at least I'd be bringing him back home.'

Accidents happen to the best people at the worst of times. No rules or regulations can fix that completely 100%. I'm all for personal choice and not more laws on the books I know that.

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