Saskatchewan

Magician prepares for icy escape from Emma Lake in chains and handcuffs

It’s hard to make a polar bear plunge into a freezing Saskatchewan lake more difficult, but Prince Albert-based magician and hypnotist Roger Boucher wants to up the ante by escaping chains and handcuffs while beneath the icy waters of Emma Lake.

Polar bear plunge and escape part of fundraiser for new fire hall

Roger Boucher is a Prince Albert magician and hypnotist. He will be attempting an escape from Emma Lake, after jumping in to the lake in chains and handcuffs. (Roger Boucher/Instagram)

It's hard to make a polar bear plunge into a freezing Saskatchewan lake more difficult, but Prince Albert-based magician and hypnotist Roger Boucher wants to up the ante by escaping chains and handcuffs while beneath the icy waters of Emma Lake.

"It's going to be very challenging, and I like to challenge myself," he explained to CBC Saskatchewan's Afternoon Edition.

His planned escape is part of a Feb. 16 fundraiser for the Lakeland fire department. Boucher suggested the challenge as a publicity stunt. He'll jump in handcuffed past three feet of ice with a weedy lake surface below him.

When a person hits the freezing cold water, it typically takes a minute to relax and acclimatize, said Boucher.

"I will not have that luxury," he said. "As soon as I hit the water, I'm going to need to be relaxed. I'll need to have a full lungful of air so I don't suck any water into my lungs."

This will be the biggest danger, followed by getting out in a calm, focused way so he doesn't burn up too much oxygen.

To prepare, Boucher's been practicing holding his breath in a bathtub full of snow. His longest record of holding his breath in these conditions sitting at a minute and twenty seconds. 

He'll be trying to raise $1,000 in pledges for the fire department.

Fire Chief Chris McShannock said between the fishing derby, polar bear plunge and the escape, the department is hoping to raise $10,000 to $15,000 to be put toward a new fire hall. The firefighters are trying to raise $100,000 for the cause.

"I think more people are into it, because they're seeing more of it," he said, of Boucher's escape and publicity for the event.

Boucher will have a dive team in place to capture video of his escape, as well as other safety measures in place to ensure he comes out of his dip unscathed.

He said he'll be keeping one thought in mind, the opposite of the advice you get in most stressful situations: "Don't breathe through it."

with files from CBC Saskatchewan's Afternoon Edition

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.