Magician prepares for icy escape from Emma Lake in chains and handcuffs
Polar bear plunge and escape part of fundraiser for new fire hall
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