Coast Guard holds joint ice rescue training in Burlington

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) The U.S. Coast Guard is participating in a first-of-its-kind joint training on Lake Champlain.

The Coast Guard crews training on the Burlington waterfront Wednesday work on ice breakers, massive ships that plow through thick ice

"The ultimate goal is to make sure that the Coast Guard is ready to respond in a situation where somebody is in distress," said Coast Guard BMC John Murphy. "They need to be prepared to deploy an ice team if for some reason we have a search and rescue."

The training at the Burlington Coast Guard station is the first joint ice rescue training for officers from around the Northeast.

"We're trying to get different outlooks, different tactics, different experiences and different ways of teaching to incorporate this training and try and expand our knowledge and become better rescuers," Murphy said.

"With the three-layers, you can pretty much be in the icy waters for a good period of time," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher Lukashewski.

He says they wear plenty of protective gear to train. But if you end up falling through the ice, the Coast Guard says to remember the 1-10-1 rule.

"If you do find yourself where you fall in the water, you have about one minute to control your breathing and relax and get yourself to an ice shelf," Murphy said. "You have about 10 minutes of active mobility on your limbs before muscle rigidity starts too, and hypothermia will take over and you wont be able to utilize your limbs anymore... Lastly, one hour is about average of how long someone will be conscious if you fall into a freezing environment like this."

Murphy says trainings like this help keep them prepared for any situation they may face on the water.