Only a Goose is Truly Safe on the Ice
Undated (KROC AM News) - Another close call in northern Minnesota.
Two men were able to escape after the pickup truck they were in crashed through the ice on Grand Lake Wednesday. The two had planned to go fishing and told authorities they measured the ice before heading onto the lake and felt it was thick enough. But the site where they broke through was only a few inches thick.
Earlier this week, two men were saved after their snowmobile broke through the ice of a lake and another man was rescued after he fell through the ice of a Twin Cities lake while fishing. Another snowmobiler died after he ended up in the water.
Because of these and other similar incidents, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is issuing a warning to anyone thinking about venturing onto a frozen lake.
DNR conservation officer Hannah Mishler has already responded to multiple ice rescue calls.
“Ice, especially snow-covered ice, is extremely deceptive. You can’t see dangerous cracks or the thickness of the ice under the snow,” Mishler said.
Mishler says parents should also be aware of their children if they plan to skate or play on ice.
“Teach your children that ice is never 100 percent safe,” cautions Mishler. “If your child is near the ice, you should be near your child.”
DNR recreation safety outreach coordinator Lisa Dugan also advises in addition to checking conditions locally and being prepared with an ice safety kit, anyone recreating on ice should be wearing a life jacket.
“A life jacket is the one piece of equipment that increases your odds of not drowning from cold water shock, hypothermia or exhaustion should you fall through the ice.”
Ice safety guidelines
No ice can ever be considered “safe ice,” but following these guidelines can help minimize the risk:
Always wear a life jacket on the ice (except when in a vehicle).
When a child is near the ice, an adult should be near the child.
Caution children to stay off ponds, streams, and other bodies of water.
A thin coating of ice on a pond or lake does not mean it is safe.
The minimum ice thickness guidelines for new, clear ice are:
4 inches for ice fishing or other activities on foot.
5-7 inches for a snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle.
8-12 inches for a car or small pickup.
12-15 inches for a medium truck.
Double these minimums for white or ice covered with heavy snow.
For more information, visit mndnr.gov/icesafety.