Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sensible Decisions Averted Winter Tragedy

a news release of the Michigan DNR

A recent ice rescue on Hubbard Lake in Alcona County by Michigan conservation officers highlights the importance of knowing what to do if you find yourself in an emergency situation while enjoying Michigan's winter recreation opportunities.

In the early morning hours of Thursday, Feb. 19, a concerned mother called the Department of Natural Resources' Report All Poaching (RAP) Line, the 24-hour law enforcement hotline, to report that her son had not returned home from ice fishing on Hubbard Lake. The man had planned on being home by 7:30 p.m., she said.

Conservation Officers Brian Engelhard and Warren MacNeill both responded. Weather conditions on the lake were severe - temperatures below 10 degrees and blowing snow with visibility of less than 40 feet. The officers proceeded to perform a grid search on the lake.

At 4:45 a.m., the officers located the man in his pickup truck, cold but alive. The truck had become stuck and the man made the decision to stay inside the vehicle. Eventually the truck ran out of gas, but he remained in the truck, using a small portable propane heater from his shanty until it ran out of fuel. The man then piled articles on top of himself to conserve body heat.

As the officers were searching the lake, the man's family retrieved global positioning system (GPS) coordinates of the location where the man was previously fishing with a friend. This information was invaluable in this situation, said Lt. Creig Grey, DNR law enforcement supervisor in Roscommon.

"This situation easily could have ended in a tragedy, but this man and his family knew the importance of being safe when going out on the ice," Grey said. "His family knew when to expect him home, they knew approximately where he was going to fish, he made the decision to stay in his vehicle to try to stay warm, and the family knew that with recent warmer weather and the current weather conditions they needed to contact authorities for help. These are all important reminders for anyone venturing out on the ice this winter."

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1 comment:

Cacai M. said...

Luckily that there's a GPS. hehehe.. ohhh yeah GPS really helps not mentioning the mother and the authorities. It's a risky one but eventually he likes it. So, that's it. Am also glad that he had survived with his piled of stuffs on his body. BTW, good post. Informative.

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