Skating Death Inspires Ice Safety Program


Jennifer Canfield/KMXT

A tragic accident has inspired Kodiak Island Search and Rescue to offer a free workshop on ice safety. One year ago Kerry Felton, who was at the time vice president of KISAR, died.

(Ice Safety 1 :12 "He was ice skating on Island Lake and he got too close to a thin spot on the ice and fell through and he was all by himself, it was at night. So, he drowned.")

That’s Nick Szabo, a volunteer with the organization. He says that Felton’s death made KISAR realize that people who go out on the ice alone may not have any way to call for help if they fall through.

(Ice Safety 2 :10 "Even though you may have a professional ice rescue team, like the fire department, ready to rescue people, if nobody knows about it they can’t do anything.")

To help prevent future fatalities on the ice, KISAR is offering the Kerry Felton Memorial Ice Safety and Rescue workshop. They hope to make it an annual event. Szabo says the workshop will teach participants the most effective ways for rescuing yourself from a dangerous situation.

(Ice Safety 3 :38 "Basically what happens when you fall into the ice people try to climb out of the ice like they’re in a swimming pool and sort of they stay vertical and try to pull themselves straight up on to the ice and that’s not the best way to do it. What you want to do is get horizontal and then kick forcefully, like a flutter kick and that can help drive you onto the ice, plus if you’re horizontal it’s a lot easier to slide horizontal on to the ice instead of try to pull yourself vertically onto the ice because a lot of times you’re in heavy clothes.")

More than 125 Kodiak High School students will get the training this week. A workshop at 7 p.m. on Friday is open to the public. Szabo says if you’re unable to attend the workshop, there is a video on YouTube that gives helpful advice on how to manage falling through the ice. You can find that video and more details about the workshop below.


Friday, January 13, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. at the Bayside Fire Station Training Center

For more information call 486-3853, 654-3853, 539-2299, 486-6780 or 486-8380


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