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snowmobile flotation

PostPosted: January 9th, 2002, 1:23 am
by jwassoc

You are probably right that you will not break through the ice on your sled and drown. As you said, you have a much better chance of having an automobile accident. We agree that your chances of breaking through the ice are remote, but every year 50 people on this continent alone drown this way. We haven't found the statistics for Europe and Asia yet, but worldwide 100 people a year could be dying this way. Secondly, you mention that you do not have a $4,500 airbag system in your car. You might be surprised to learn that airbag systems for some vehicles well exceed $4500 in cost to the vehicle owner, and that the airbags in even the cheapest cars can cost thousands of dollars. Your Tahoe probably has at least $2500 worth of airbag equipment and labor built into it. No state or federal agencies track the number of non-fatal snowmobile and ATV break through accidents, so there is no source as to which states have higher incident rates. As far as the percentage of water crossed by snowmobilers goes, from the one thousand snowmobilers we have surveyed here in Minnesota, 75% cross frozen water each time they snowmobile and 5% (50 riders)have broken through the ice on their machines. One individual we surveyed broke through twice. Finally, our interest in the Nebulus flotation device goes back to December 12, 1992 when a 27 year old man died on Crystal Lake in Dakota County, and in the process inspired a group of University of Minnesota engineers who are still working on the project to this day.

snowmobile flotation

PostPosted: January 9th, 2002, 7:20 am
by Red Rocket
Do you not think that it would be superior for an operator to wear a Mustang Ice Rider Snowmobile suit, that provides floatation.

I have personal experience with them and they work great. They are nice and warm and come in the latest styles and colours. You hope you never need the floatation feature but it is nice to know that it is there.

With regard to recovering the sled - I would think a device that automatically deploys a safety line with a floatation device on the end (so you could grab it and drag the sled out would be less complicated and much more inexpensive.

Personally, if I am ever unfortunate enough to break through the ice (and I do not think you should ever, unless you make a really bad decision) I am much more concerned about my safety than that of my sled. I have insurance and would be willing to pay to have it recovered, after I am out of the water and warm and dry.

You can look at them at the following links:

snowmobile flotation

PostPosted: January 9th, 2002, 8:43 am
by Tantrum
Exactly where I was going next. I race boats in the warmer months. For Poker Runs alot of the guys are using suspender type inflatable life jackets. When they hit the water they automatically inflate.
Red Rocket, yours is much better because it will keep you warm after your retrieved from the water.
Check th link below.

snowmobile flotation

PostPosted: January 12th, 2002, 9:08 am
by jwassoc
Red Rocket,

We agree that a Mustang type survival suit is the ideal gear to use, but it is expensive. Our device costs about the same. With our device rescue personal do not have to go diving to recover your sled, they simply hook a line to the flotation device. Also, with our device the rider is out of the water and has a chance of reaching the ice shelf and escaping to shore. With the Mustang survival suit you are still stuck in the water and will have to be rescued. Unless you have spikes, it is nearly impossible to crawl out of a hole in the ice.

snowmobile flotation

PostPosted: January 14th, 2002, 10:14 am
by jwassoc
The Zimmerman, Minnesota snowmobile accident has now been ruled a drowning by the Medical Examiner. Originally it was not known if the victim broke his neck before entering the water. The ME says the victim was knocked unconscious when he hit the ice and then slid into the open water with his snowmobile, where he drowned. His riding buddies drove to the other end of the lake and dragged back a row boat, but it was too late.