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servocam

Ice Safety Awarness - Spread the Word

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I have posted this in a few places and heart broken about the number of people falling through the ice so far this season.  We were spoiled last year with the early ice and have had a very late start this season.  Please do your part and spread the word. 

 

I know several of us have posted serval times about Ice Safety, but if you have been reading/watching the news, we have had way too many people fall through the ice in the Midwest (MN, ND, SD, WI) and as I discussed back in Novermber, the 80/20 rule, we need to continuous reminder as our passion for this sports allows emotions to overwrite common sense (for us guys anyways - how many women do you hear falling through the ice?).  While I did not write this nor know who did, it is very touching (I poached it from a snowmobiling board).  Just replace the thought of a snowmobiler with icefisher.  Some of you may have had close calls or may even know someone or a friend of a friend that may have lost their life ice fishing.  My wife's cousins uncle died a few years ago in a blizzard while ice fishing.  I know some of you are probably tired of seeing these posts, and some of you will comment or want to comment with some smart punked response, but too bad.  Do your part to help bring Ice Safety Awareness; not just for ice fishing, but for going out on the lakes/rivers (Skating, ATV's, Snowmobileing, Joy Riding....)  For those of you think you are a better fisherman or a "big man" because you go out on 1-2" of ice, maybe this will set in a bit of what your friends or family will feel like when....
 

Quote

I am not a writer. In fact, this is the first time I've written anything since college. I am, however, a snowmobiler.

My friends and I are probably just like you. We are all in our late twenties to early thirties, and single white males. We have pretty good jobs; some own their house, others rent. We hunt and fish, watch football and NASCAR, go to bars and church festivals. We have problems with women, like fast cars and Schwartzeneggar movies. We think we can dance, but look like Frankenstein having a seizure when a girl drags us onto the floor. We could probably switch places with any of you and fit right into your group.

We have owned sleds from all manufacturers over the years. Our first sleds were junkpiles and we still make fun of them. We work on our own sleds and help each other with theirs. We watch the weather forecasts waiting for snow and read all the snowmobiling magazines drooling over the new sleds. We put 600 miles on the truck to put 200 on the sled. We have all entered corners too fast, and all missed turns at night at one time or another. We laughed at slow riders that putted along at 15 mph. We rode with the feeling of invincibility that only youth can bring.

Our youth ended February 14, 2003.

In a small town about 10 miles South of Crandon, at 11:00 PM my friend Jim Smolen lost his life. He was only 28. He died within a half mile of the cabin, within half an hour of unloading the sleds off of the trailer. The reconstruction showed that he hit a stump under the snow, was thrown off, and hit a tree. At least he didn't suffer. Excessive speed was believed to have been involved, even though the sled wasn't wrecked. It looked like he just stepped off of it. He did have ONE or TWO beers, but I must say that I have seen people drink much more - I'm not condoning it, but I know you have too. Jim was riding as long as I can remember, 5+ years at least, riding the same sled he had for three years. We have all seen the articles in the papers that give little detail; letting us assume it was an inexperienced rider, totally drunk, on a brand new, huge displacement sled.

What the newspaper articles do not show is how it affects everyone else. They don't show the undescribable horror of seeing a close friend lying in the snow bleeding from the eyes, ears, nose and mouth. They don't show the blank stare in his unblinking eyes as you try to remember the CPR you learned in high school. They don't show the panic felt during the longest half mile you will ever ride back to the cabin to call 911. They don't show the feeling of helplessness as you spend the longest HALF HOUR of your life waiting for an ambulance. They don't tell about men who haven't prayed in years dropping to their knees and saying a prayer. They don't show the feeling of uneasiness as you drive HIS truck to the hospital. They don't show the cold you feel as you wait until 4:30AM when the doctors give you the news you already knew but still can't bring yourself to hear. They don't tell the flood of emotions you feel as you have to call your friend's parents in the middle of the night to tell them that their son has died. They don't mention that none of his friends will get any sleep for days. They don't mention the nightmares when they do. They don't tell about the DNR showing up at 8:00AM the next day to fill out paperwork and make them relive it all again. They don't tell about grown men breaking down and crying. They don't tell about the longest, quietest drive home ever.

His roommate is the one who found him, called his parents, and drove his truck home. He has closed the kitchen window blinds so he doesn't have to see his truck. He had to close the kitchen cabinet to keep from seeing his box of corn flakes. He is now afraid of the dark. Our season is over.

The human body is so frail, so easily damaged. If you have an accident in a big city, help is only about five minutes away. If you have an accident in the north woods help could be forty miles away or more. Think about it: that's like having an accident in Milwaukee and having to wait for an ambulance from Illinois. And then having to go to a hospital back in Illinois.

I am not asking for speed limits, or other restrictions. Just please, PLEASE be careful.
-Unknown Author

 

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