When water temperatures are in the 30s, it can take approximately 15 minutes for hypothermia to set in.
Captain Robert Reardon tells us, "the only ice to us that is safe is a skating rink."
With the help of Captain Reardon, the Duxbury Fire Department and four different cameras (2 GoPros, 1 drone camera and a traditional news camera), we show you how easy it is to get into trouble if you’re venturing onto the ice.
For safety reasons, I changed into a survival Mustang Suit and am tethered to the shore with a rope held by firefighters.
Unfortunately, if you have an accident on the ice, chances are first responders won’t be waiting on shore and you’ll be in clothing weighed down by the icy water.
According to Reardon, the ice is especially dangerous this year, "there is really no safe ice in these temperatures especially with these fluctuations."
When I went in for the first time, the ice looked deceivingly thick. One misplaced step and I was through the ice.
Firefighters extracted me the first time. They’re equipped with a sled which can glide over ice or water.
This sled can be propelled and navigated by what looks like a traditional oar, but this oar has an ice pick at the end. The pick allows firefighters to pull the sled.
First responders were in constant contact with me, telling me how I can assist in my own rescue. In this case, Firefighter Jack tells me to direct my arms toward him so he can strap on a harness. Once I was secured, the firefighters on shore pull us in.
The second time I cracked through the ice, it was my turn to extract myself. I placed my hands on the ice using my feet to butterfly kick. The kicking helped guide me onto the ice.
Once the ice is thick enough, I crawled (or you can roll) back to shore. It’s important NOT to stand up. You need to disperse your weight evenly.
Local fire departments like Duxbury are constantly training for ice rescue. You can do your part – all you need to do: stay off the ice.