Ice Fishing Enthusiasts Beware
You would think that the dangers associated with ice fishing are rather obvious. You could fall through the ice into water or prolonged exposure to the cold could result in hypothermia. What you may not have considered is that actually your attempts to keep warm could kill you!
Poisoned Whilst Ice Fishing
A mother in Minnesota is keen to save other families from the heartache of losing a loved one. Her son, Jared, died recently whilst ice fishing. This was not because he got too cold or fell into the water, but rather because he was poisoned by carbon monoxide.
Ice fishing is a popular pastime in Minnesota and other northern states in the US. Fishermen use an ice house to protect themselves from the elements. Jared Johnson’s shelter had been fashioned from a camper trailer. This had propane heaters inside but the heaters were not correctly ventilated and a deadly build-up of carbon monoxide ensued. The problem with carbon monoxide is that it is both odourless and colourless. Victims simply don’t realise that they are in trouble and lapse into a coma. Jared was just 34 years old.
Carbon Monoxide kills many people around the world every year and many more victims are hospitalised. The confined space of an ice house is a particularly hazardous place to be. Just weeks before Jared died, a woman also died and four of her friends were hospitalised in Minnesota after being poisoned by carbon monoxide whilst ice fishing.
The Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
It would appear that many of those who take to the ice are skilled at fishing but do not know how to recognise the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Many may have experienced these symptoms without understanding the cause. The symptoms include headaches, fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath and nausea. Children, the elderly and those with heart and lung problems are particularly vulnerable.
Sheds, Boats and Caravans
The dangers of poisoning are not confined to ice houses. Any shed, fishing hut, caravan or boat represents a potentially dangerous environment. It is essential that all engines and equipment are properly maintained and that there is adequate ventilation. A carbon monoxide detector is an excellent investment which could save your life. If you use heaters whilst fishing or you sleep on a boat, don’t expose yourself to this silent killer.
- Header image: Ice lake by Bresciani via Pexels (CC0 1.0)