Here's How the Innovative Nebulus Flotation Device Saves Lives in Icy Water

If tragedy should strike when you're on the ice, wouldn't it be nice to have a device that could save both you and the other person? The Nebulus may be that device.

Every winter thousands of people venture onto iced-over lakes and rivers for various activities. And every winter a lot of people unexpectedly go through the ice and a lot of them don't survive. The Nebulus flotation device was invented as a response to those tragedies.

John Weinel and some engineers at the University of Minnesota invented the Nebulus after John witnessed the aftermath of a young man who died following such an incident.

The man's snowmobile broke through the ice on a lake where Weinel lives, and the man was unable to survive the icy water. It was out of this tragedy, repeated far too often on northern waters, that the Nebulus flotation device was born.

Randy Meier, with the help of Weinel and rescue personnel, is about to give the Nebulus a real life test in the frigid waters of a Minnesota lake.

The Nebulus is strapped to a snowmobile, ATV or UTV, or is even carried by, for example, ice fishermen. Should you break through the ice, you give the Nebulus ripcord a hard pull and it inflates, suspending your machine in the water below it and offering you a life raft onto which you can climb out of the cold water.

The whole process takes approximately 30-60 seconds. If you have the presence of mind to react appropriately, pull the ripcord, get away from your machine, swim to the Nebulus and clamber up onto it, this could save your life and the life of a companion. It also makes the job of retrieving your machine a heckuva lot easier.

Remember, when you hit the icy water of a frozen lake you literally only have minutes before you succumb to the freezing temperatures. If you cannot get out of the water your motor functions will shut down and you simply won't be able to physically climb out and onto the ice to save yourself.

The Nebulus gives you another very strong option.

The device has been put to real life tests and has saved lives already, including a young father and his 4-year old daughter whose UTV broke through the ice only a month before this video was made.

As Meier talks to that father, Patrick Wolf, and his young daughter, you can only be struck by the urgency of the situation they found themselves in. It could have ended very differently, and very tragically, than it did. The Nebulus was employed in that situation and they both survived.

There is little doubt that most police, fire and rescue departments in northern states will likely be including the Nebulus flotation device in their rescue arsenals from here on. And if they don't, you might contact your local authorities and request that they acquire the unit.

Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.

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