Safety rules for winter fishing

Winter fishing is considered to be one of the most enjoyable types of recreation. However, at the same time, those dangerous moments that lie in wait for the winter fisherman on frozen water somehow go into the background. The main danger is, of course, the ice itself – or rather, the ice is not thick enough to withstand a person, and even more so, a group of people. Unfortunately, unplanned swimming in icy water, and even the death of fishermen, from year to year darken the winter fisherman. As you know, unsalted water freezes at 0 ° C. When fresh water freezes on rivers, ponds and lakes, impurities in the form of gas bubbles that rise from the bottom or fill cracks, salt solutions, and mineral insoluble particles remain in the ice. The presence of natural pores reduces the density of ice, increases its buoyancy and changes its thermal properties. The more through pores, the faster heat or cold penetrates into the ice.

For example, in places of abundant aquatic vegetation, as well as in areas of reservoirs where a swamp or forest were previously located, ice has a porosity of up to 50% and grows much faster than in clean water. At the same time, despite the great thickness; its destruction is faster, therefore such places are the most insidious. In approximately the same way, the direction of the wind in the first days of its formation affects the strength and thickness of ice. Near the coast, to which chunks of young ice and sludge are blown away by the wind, the ice mass grows faster, but it is heterogeneous, and, therefore, in the spring, you need to be more careful here.

The density of ice depends on the rate of freezing. With slow freezing, the density increases due to the swelling of mineral layers. The average density of ice in freshwater reservoirs in the Northwest is 0.91 g / cm. This means that the height of the surface is about 10% of the total height of the ice floe. Young, homogeneous ice is the strongest. One person can move relatively safely on homogeneous ice when its thickness reaches 4-5 cm. Fishing on the first ice is considered the most profitable. There are many daredevils who challenge fate, only the first ice reaches a thickness of 2 cm. The consequences, unfortunately, are often disastrous.

On the first ice and in the spring, you should not go fishing alone. To be ready to come to the rescue of those in trouble, you need to have a cord 10-15 m long with an end weight. If there is no rope, you can crawl to the hole and give the victim an ice pick, a strap from a fishing box, a trouser belt, etc. Do not cut holes in thin ice at a distance closer than 5 m from a neighbor.

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Thin ice crunches underfoot like crumbling parquet. If the ice surface is not covered with snow, you can observe how radial cracks spreading in all directions are formed under the feet. If ring cracks are also visible on the ice, it means that its strength is at its limit, and it can break at any moment. Milky, white ice is twice weaker than transparent ice. It forms during frosty weather with snowfalls and is frozen snowflakes. Such ice breaks without a warning crackle. Spongy ice – snow frozen during a blizzard – is even more fragile. Areas of such ice must by all means be bypassed.

To go out onto the ice, choose areas that are not covered with snow and located on shallows. On the first ice, you need to move slowly, checking the path in front of you with your foot. You should not approach reeds and snags – the ice is weaker around them. Hearing the warning crackle of ice, in no case should you stop. Without taking your feet off the surface of the ice, step back, and if there is a sure area ahead of you, go forward as quickly as possible. If the ice suddenly begins to crack, remain calm, do not panic, quickly, but at the same time, carefully lie on the ice and crawl to safety.

Feel the ice in front of you as you move. You need to be especially careful after the spring snowfalls, when it is covered with snow. Be sure to bypass dangerous and doubtful places. Return to the shore in the old, proven way. Ice strength decreases sharply with increasing temperature. For example, the bending strength of ice at a temperature of 0 ° C is 10-12 times less than at a temperature of 5 ° C. In stable frosty weather, ice with a thickness of 4-5 cm can withstand one person; 8 cm thick – two people standing next to each other. Small groups of 5-7 people can gather on ice if its thickness is at least 12 cm.

Driving out of cars on the ice, with the exception of paths marked for traffic, is strictly prohibited. On the cars “Zhiguli”, “Zaporozhets” and “Moskvich” you can move on ice at least 15 cm thick, on the “Volga” – at least 20 cm (we are talking only about transparent ice). While on ice, keep in mind that it grows more slowly under snow than in a snow-free space. It should also be remembered that over great depths ice forms later and therefore it is less durable, and therefore dangerous when it is reliable enough around in shallow water and at medium depths. Be especially careful when crossing the river below the dam. There, the state of the ice changes quickly, and sometimes after 2-3 hours it is impossible to go back on its trail.

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Under bridges, in narrow channels between wide stretches and between islands, ice is often dangerous even in the middle of winter. You cannot walk on ice in these places in spring. In lakes, spring springs are sometimes found at great depths. Above them, so-called “lenses” are formed in the ice. The ice above them is very dangerous and can break even in severe frost. After snowstorms, watch out for non-frozen holes under the snow. Do not go close to holes where fishing nets are placed. They are always covered with thin ice or snow. You can notice them on the mounds of crushed ice lying nearby. Remember that the spring ice after the night freeze in the morning seems strong and reliable, and in the afternoon, especially at the end of the freeze-up, it crumbles and falls through.

If, nevertheless, trouble happened, and you find yourself in the water, the main thing is not to panic, keep cool. You need to act calmly, without haste, without sudden movements, but also without delay, so that your clothes do not get wet. There are several ways to get to the surface;
1) Do not try to get out on the ice only with your hands, do not pull yourself over the edge of the ice. Holding on to the edge with your hands, you must carefully bring one and then the other leg onto the ice, then, slowly, carefully roll away from the dangerous place.
2) Once in the water, put your feet on the opposite edge of the ice, get out of the hole and, without getting up, roll to the side. Try to get to your home faster and dry yourself. If it is far away, make a fire, wring out wet clothes.

In some countries, winter fishing is prohibited without a special simple device – the so-called “rescuers”. “Spasalki” are two sharpened steel pins with handles attached to them. A rope is threaded into the upper parts of the handles in such a way as to connect both “rescuers” to each other – it resembles a rope. On the ice “lifeguard?” hung around the neck. The length of the rope is selected so that both of them can be held with outstretched arms. If the fisherman is in the water, then it is almost impossible to grab onto the slippery wet ice with his hands. This is where sharpened pins with handles hanging around the neck come to the rescue. You need to throw your hands as far as possible over the edge and drive the points into the ice, and then get out using one of the methods described above. Helping a friend who has fallen under the ice, give him a belt, a scarf, the handle of an ice pick or an ice ax. You can grip them tighter than an outstretched hand. In addition, when approaching at hand distance, it is easier to break off the edge of the ice. The load on the ice will be less if you crawl to the ice hole.

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As a result of exposure to a low temperature, frostbite may occur. Medicine distinguishes four degrees of frostbite. The first is when the contraction of blood vessels is accompanied by blanching of the skin and loss of sensitivity at the site of frostbite. In the second – on the pale area, after warming, bubbles with a cloudy bloody content appear, and the skin becomes blue-purple. Signs of the third degree of frostbite: in the first days – bluish discoloration of the skin, blisters, scabs; in the following days – areas of skin necrosis. Death of the skin and deeper tissues is characteristic of fourth degree frostbite.

At the first degree of frostbite, the pale area of ​​the body should be wiped off with alcohol or vodka, and then slowly and gently rubbed with your fingers until the skin becomes red. The frostbite area can also be warmed in water, the temperature of which should be slowly increased from 18 ° C to 37 ° C for 20-30 minutes and at the same time (in water) lightly rubbed. to drink hot tea or coffee. Later, ointment bandages are applied to the frostbite area. Assistance to victims of frostbite of the second, third and fourth degrees is provided in a medical institution.