Friday, January 14, 2011

A beautiful day turns into tragedy

Two weeks ago we talked about how, after a week of dreary days and constant rain, the sun suddenly came out. I was tempted to take the kayak out storage and go for a ride. My wife talked me out of it.

But great days can be treacherous. They make you want to do things in the outdoors. And that is what must have happened to a 40 year old man, just this past week.

Apparently he went out ice skating on Island Lake on Sunday before last, just a few blocks from us. When his family returned home from running errands, he was not back. For hours neighbors said emergency crews looked for him, long into the night. The scuba shop contributed an underwater camera to use through holes made in the ice. On Monday morning he was found.

Unfortunately, I think, "Cabin Fever" took it's toll.

Our firemen specifically train to recover people who have fallen through the ice. This time, they had to use that training to recover someone too late. And it must have been psychologically tough for them, because the person they were looking for was an active member of the Kodiak Search and Rescue Team.

Weather related tragedy, unfortunately, affects us often. And since our population is small, when such things happen, it is deeply felt by all of us.

To read the paper's account, cut and paste the following to your browser:

Technically, warm rain water seeps in from the land onto the lake. And even though the center might be thick ice, the edge is thinned out from the bottom as the run-off water seeps underneath the ice.

Before Christmas I had listened to our Fire Chief talking on the radio about how they train for such events. In fact, a picture above is from their training exercise. I had planned to use it in this blog, but with a much different ending. To listen to his comments about that training, copy and paste this long link on to your browser.

This is indeed a sad story. I considered not writing about it. But it is what occurs when you live in this climate. Beautiful, but treacherous.

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