Snowmobile Riders Urged To Wear Float Coats
The Maine Warden Service is urging snowmobilers to wear float coats as the risk of falling through the ice increases.
Many of us are enjoying the mild temperatures right now, but it's not good news for sled drivers who want to cross bodies of water. So far, 4 riders in Maine and New Hampshire have died this year as the result of sleds breaking through the ice. One of those four happened in Maine when a rider fell through the ice on Messalonskee Lake in January.
A 'float coat' is made of lighter materials than standard winter gear. A parka or regular snowmobile coat will get heavy when it's wet, weighing the rider down. But a float coat's lighter construction will enable the person a few more minutes afloat, allowing them more time to try and pull themselves out of the freezing water. A few minutes may not seem like a lot, but it can be the difference between drowning or surviving a fall through the ice.
Wardens also advise keeping ice picks handy to help the rider pull themselves out of the water. Slippery ice is tough to grip, especially for a rider who's scrambling to climb up onto the surface. For more information on proper clothing for outdoor sports, log onto the website for the Maine Warden Service.