Nablopomo - first day

Well, it's the first day of Nablopomo - I certainly hope that I can keep up with it. I was talking to some of the ladies from work as there was a tragic accident in my home town of Manitowoc this weekend. First of all, let me tell you that Manitowoc and Two Rivers (they are about 5 miles apart) are right on the shores of Lake Michigan. This is a picture of the lakeshore in is truly beautiful, and I really miss living on it. Here is some information that is pertinent to what I am going to tell you:

It is rare that Lake Michigan freezes over completely. Despite the area¹s reputation for harsh winters, the only year we are certain Lake Michigan approached being completely frozen over was 1979, when extended periods of low temperatures resulted in an extensive ice buildup in the southern half of the lake (see Figure 3). In an average year, ice covers a bit less than half of Lake Michigan¹s surface. Because the lake stretches about 300 miles from North to South, there is usually much open water over the deeper waters of the southern basin due to milder temperatures. Since airborne and satellite observations of lake ice began four decades ago, only two other years, 1977 and 1994, have seen periods when nearly 90% of the lake was ice-covered. Recently, warmer temperatures have kept the ice cover far below average levels. The icepack covered only 15% of Lake Michigan in 1998, even in late February when the icepack is usually at its greatest.

There are a few small rivers that are located in Manitowoc and Two Rivers, but all of them run into Lake Michigan. They are not something that I would ever feel comfortable walking, snowmobiling, or ice fishing on. You just never know, and every year something seems to happen. Here is the newspaper article for what happened a few days ago from The Appleton Post Crescent:

Two Manitowoc brothers, among three boys pulled from the icy East Twin River on Friday afternoon, died hours later at Children's Hospital in Milwaukee despite extensive resuscitative efforts, Manitowoc County Coroner Curtis Green said Saturday.

Larry Yang, 12, was pronounced dead at 10:57 p.m. Jimmy Yang, 13, was pronounced dead at 11:34 p.m. The causes of death were drowning and hypothermia, Green said in a news release.
Larry Yang was a sixth-grader at Jackson Elementary School in Manitowoc. Jimmy Yang was a seventh-grader at Wilson Junior High School. The Manitowoc School District will implement crisis counseling on Monday, Superintendent Mark Swanson said.

"We are devastated," Swanson said in a news release. "We are going to have some very sad schools next week."

Jackson Principal Steve Kleinfeldt described Larry Yang as being "funny and light-hearted," saying the boy loved soccer and was good at it.

Jimmy Yang kept a thoughtful eye on his siblings as a big brother, Kleinfeldt said.

Jimmy Yang was "always smiling, outgoing, with lots of friends and a great sense of humor," Wilson Principal Darlene Wotacheck said.

The brothers were in critical condition after being transported to Children's Hospital by air ambulance. One of the boys was submerged for 50 minutes while the other was submerged for 70 minutes. Rescue efforts were concentrated near the 27th Street Boat Launch, just south of Paddler's Park.

David Murack, a firefighter and paramedic with the Two Rivers Fire Department, located the first submerged boy. The water was deeper than Murack's height where he found the boy, he said Saturday. The firefighter's foot made contact with the boy. Rescuers then pulled the child out of the water.

A second submerged boy was located about 20 minutes later and about 70 minutes after a woman called 911 to report seeing boys in the river. Firefighter Kris Klein found the second boy.
"It is sad," Klein said Saturday. "It is too bad. They were in such a long time. We wish we could have found them sooner."

The cold water rescue team rescued another 13-year-old boy within 10 minutes of the 911 phone call. He was found clinging to a piece of ice with his head above water. Firefighter Pat Krajnik rescued the boy from the water.

The boy was in stable condition as of Friday afternoon, Two Rivers Police Department Lt. Scott Gerard said, and was transported to Children's hospital by ground ambulance where he was discharged Saturday, according WGBA, Channel 26 in Green Bay.

"If that child had been in the water much longer, he would have slipped under as well," Murack said.

The cold-water rescue team searches in a circular motion around the area the person was last seen, Murack said. The first hour during cold-water rescue is vital, he said.

Murack, who has helped with cold-water rescues for eight years, has had similar situations when people fall through the ice while ice skating or during car accidents. However, this time was different.

"I have never had to pull a child out of cold water," he said.

The 911 call was made by Laura Flickinger, 22, of Two Rivers. She saw the boys struggling in the river while she was outside putting up Christmas decorations. Her cell phone was in her pocket, so she called for emergency help right away.

Flickinger lives in the 2400 block of Jefferson Street. If she had not been outside at that moment, she said she probably wouldn't have seen the kids in the river.

The ice was less than ½-inch thick Friday afternoon, Gerard said. Two Rivers police are requesting people remain off the ice.

"We have received two reports of other children on the ice since Friday's tragedy," Gerard said in a news release.

As the rescue team was demobilizing from the 27th Street Boat Launch, a citizen reported that a person was crossing the West Twin River.

Children were reported riding their bikes across the West Twin River on Saturday. They made it safely off the ice, Gerard said.

A Two Rivers Police Department officer encountered three teenagers attempting to ride their snowmobiles on the East Twin River from the 27th Street Boat Launch, Gerard said. The teenagers did not cross the river after talking to the officer.

How terribly sad, and scary that even after this people will still not take the warning.



Morgan Mandel said...

Unfortunately, recently there have been a spate of deaths from children or men venturing on thin ice. I don't remember there being as many before. Maybe they weren't publicized.

Morgan Mandel

December 1, 2008 at 8:23 PM
Rebecca Camarena said...

thanks for linking all my blogs to yours, really appreciate it. Becky

December 1, 2008 at 8:57 PM

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