Frozen Water Dangers

<p>Frozen Water Dangers</p>

Frozen Water Dangers

At times, there have been people who decided to try and walk on the ice water surrrounding the Tri-Cities.

Drowning prevention expert Mark Allen said that's not a good idea.

"They don't think anything is going to happen to them so they out out not realizing it gets thin in some places," said Allen. "You can fall in and 50% of the people who drown are by themselves. They didn't tell anybody where they were and they're stuck out there for the night."

Allen gave me the opportunity to learn first hand what it would be like to be in the water and what it would take to save someone stuck in ice water.

I got suited up for the occasion, I put on a thermal suit for warmth and a dry suit over that.

I also put on gloves and sealed them up to keep any water from entering my suit.

Allen said if you plunge into this 35 degree water with regular clothes on, you have minutes before you lose use of your arms and legs.

There are three stages to cold water immersion, first you're gasping trying to get a hold of your breathing.

Next is cold incapacitation.

"Incapacitation happens within two to ten minutes and if you don't do a meaningful self rescue, you'll lose the use of your arms and legs, and then you'll drown," said Allen.

Allen said if you have a life jacket on or manage to keep your head above the water then you'll get to the stage of hypothermia after about 30 minutes in the water.

Hopefully by that point, help is on the way because once your body temperature hits 86 degrees, you go unconscious.

Allen has had his own business, Allen Water Rescue Services for nearly ten years.

He has recovered three bodies from cold water in Franklin County and rescued 18 people.  

He said the best way to be safe is to have someone with you, have a life jacket and have a rope around to pull yourself out.