I recently completed a class (yeah!!) called
Teaching Cold Water Survival
One of the assignments was to create a story about a given situation.
Since I am not very good making up stories I told one as I remembered it...
One frigid winter afternoon two mechanics went to go check their crab pots in the ice on Norton Sound. One was a Minnesota farm boy who had spent much of his growing up years on and around ice, the other was a Kansas City transplant. The Minnesota Master Mechanic had just bought a new three-wheeler and was eager to test it out.
Different characters, but around the same time period ...3-wheelers and crab pots..
After checking their pots they went exploring on the ice and played around on their three-wheelers. Both ended up heading different directions as they slid and raced around. After a bit the Kansas mechanic began to get chilled. He looked around and couldn’t find his co-worker anywhere. After searching for a short time he decided the other rider must have headed back to town and left him alone. Disgusted and cold, he headed home.
The Minnesotian hadn’t headed home though. He had tootled around on the ice and ended up on a thin section. As he rode over it, the ice broke and he plunged into the icy water of the Bering Sea!
One of the few good things about three-wheelers were their big, inflated tires. While they made the machines unstable to ride, the large tires helped keep them afloat in wet conditions.
As the mechanic submerged in the water, the machine stayed on top of the surface.
Immediately ice moved in around the new opening.. shrinking it.
This wasn’t the first time the Minnesotian had broken through ice, so he had a little experience to work with. Slowly, he found a hold on the floating machine. Hand pull, by hand pull he crawled up out of the water. The machine went under the water and ice as he moved, but stayed high enough that he was able to push off of it and get his upper body onto the edge of the ice. Methodically he pushed and pulled until his hips were out of the water. He was so cold!
When his hips were on the ice he pushed with his arms and rolled away from the hole. After rolling several times he was again on solid, stable ice. He looked around and found he was alone in the windy world. Through the falling darkness lights from town could be seen about a mile away.
His machine was back on the surface of the water now that he wasn’t pushing on it,
but the unstable, broken ice had begun to close in on it.
With his clothes and hat completely saturated, and his boots filled with water it was slow walking but, it was his only option. He hadn’t brought any extra gear. If he would have, it would have been in the water anyway. Looking at the lights of town, he began putting one foot in front of the other.
The wind nipped at his face and bit through the clothes at first, but then he began to feel warmer.
All of his clothes had frozen, blocking the wind and holding the warmth he was generating from his walking inside. Once they froze, he felt much warmer. He continued his way home.
When he finally reached his house he couldn’t get his clothes off. Between the icy material and his cold, stiff fingers, they were more than he could manipulate.
Climbing into the shower, he turned on the warm water. Once his clothes melted he peeled them off, and soaked up the warmth from the shower.
And yes, the Minnesota Master Mechanic is still here.
I hear tell he was gifted a new snowmachine for Christmas.....