Monday, February 9, 2009

MORE ON ICE FISHING


Caution – this post contains a large helping of satire and irony.

Okay, I think I’m already on record here as saying that the joy and beauty of ice fishing eludes me. I do not ridicule others for loving it, or at least I didn’t until this past weekend. Now, I have to admit I’m more comfortable with the notion of passing at least some little bit of judgment on those who suit up, trudge out onto a lake the size and depth of Erie, onto ice whose exact thickness and strength is not truly known to them, to sit in a tent (or sometimes exposed to whatever the elements may hurl at them) and dangle as fishing line into the icy depths for hours (and I do mean hours) on end. Hence the title of this post, which really works better if you say it out loud.

Those of you who don't live in the North American news area may not have heard that 134 ice fishers had to be rescued last Saturday, so here's an except from the news (italics are mine)

The ice sheet broke free Saturday morning, floating away from the Ohio shoreline.Fishermen had apparently used wooden pallets to create a bridge to get past a crack and farther onto the lake, the Toledo Blade reported. The National Weather Service said ice on western sections of the lake is up to 2 feet thick. But with temperatures rising above freezing, the ice started to crack and wind gusting to 35 mph began pushing the slab offshore.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that the ice floe broke free at about 10:45 a.m.The Coast Guard said several ships and helicopters were sent to rescue people.Bratton called what happened Saturday "just idiotic" because he said the fishermen didn't know how to read the ice. And he said it was not unexpected. The Ohio Division of Wildlife said it warns fishermen every year that there's no such thing as "safe ice."

I have to say, if there’s a gap and open water, and you’re laying down plywood to get across it, “reading the ice” probably isn’t going to help you. Tragically, one person lost his life in this adventure turned misadventure, and I will take a break from my satire to say that I have total sympathy for that family’s terrible loss. But (satire back on) I’m also betting that this story ends up at least a runner-up in this year’s Darwin Awards. And the seafood counter in A&P is looking better than ever.

P.S. The photo shows how much the lake changed in 2 days of sun and warm temperatures. The blue isn't exactly open water, but I wouldn't venture out, though quite a few did. (click to enlarge)

15 comments:

Shellmo said...

I was shaking my head hearing that story about those stranded ice fisheman - hello?! If there's a crack in the ice - sounds like conditions are changing. I think what bothers me most is those fisherman endangered the lives of rescue personnel who have to go get their sorry butts.
Okay, I'm stepping off my soap box.
Nice photo!

Lin said...

you have to wonder...at risking your life for a few fish...

Sylvia K said...

It never fails to amaze me when I hear or read stories like these that some people could be so incredibly stupid! Like Shellmo, hello??? there's a crack in the ice!! You're right the fish counter at Safeway looks better by the minute.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

It's the same kind of think, Deb, when people hike or use snow mobiles in those high mountains in Oregon. IF they want to be that stupid, that's okay.. BUT-to put the rescuers lives in danger looking for them is something else entirely. Why do so many people LOVE living on the 'edge' of life????? Why do people enjoy those 'extreme' sports????? STUPID if you ask me!!!! Okay--off my soap box too!!!

Have a great day.
Hugs,
Betsy

Quiet Paths said...

We heard about that right after they were rescued: Matt and I thought you might post on it! *grin* I see the water changing yes. Great shot; I am so enjoying your view from way over here!

Dianne said...

there was a few reports about this on the news here

I ended up screaming at the TV (again) when this one guy who was rescued was chuckling about how "guys gotta do what guys gotta do"

he was right out of Beavis and Butthead

all these people risked their lives - not to mention the resources used - to resuce this moron and he thinks it's one big joke - a grown man!!

Kallen305 said...

I don't understand it myself. I see these ice fisthermen all over my town and there are dozens of them and they are stoked to be out there.

The ones that risk their lives to ice fish confuse me even more. I honestly think its a guy thing though. Half the fun to them is the potential danger involved and getting a really big fish to brag to the other guys over a beer later that evening.

The ones on the news this weekend really frosted me though. Use your common sense next time people.

Small City Scenes said...

I guess I will say thank goodness we don't have ice fishermen on this side of the Cascades---they would drown if they did--this water doesn't freeze too well in double #s. Eastern Washington a different deal. So sad about the man suffering a heart attack.

B**** whipped by the wind---Oh too funny. MB

bobbie said...

I heard about htat fiasco. I just hope that those stupid ice fishermen (and women?) have to share in the cost of the rescue, which must have been considerable.

Quiet Paths said...

Oh yes, another note; they all had to leave their snow mobiles behind! wahhaaaaa

Ruth said...

I missed this story on the weekend news. Something like this seems to happen every winter. Many people go ice fishing around here on small lakes near the city. It is something I have never tried, and likely never will.

Wren said...

I hadn't heard that they had to leave their snowmobiles behind; sounds like poetic justice. I was a lot more sympathetic before I heard about the pallets over the crack in the ice.

Cloudia said...

Saw this story and did think of you! I agree totally. . . . Aloha!

magiceye said...

:)

man tries his darnedest best to reach the pinnacle of stupidity!

Squirrel said...

I got invited to an ice fishing festival at a lake in the Catskills this weekend. (I thought of you immediately!) I doubt if I'll go as I still have a rotten cough. Why tempt Murphy's law? Best to snuggle in bed with hot tea.