NO ICE should ever be considered as SAFE ICE!
Six Rules of Safety
Because there is no such thing as safe ice, we reccommend avoiding entering an ice covered body of water. However, if you must do so, here are Lifesaving Resources’ six rules to improve safety.
1. Thickness Varies
Ice might be suitable in one section, but compromised in another. You need at least 4” of new, clear, hard ice before venturing out on foot, skis or skates. Additional thickness is needed before going out in groups or on snowmobiles.
2. Plastic Pee-less Whistle
When venturing out, carry a plastic pee-less whistle to alert others in the event of an emergency. A pea-less design is preferred as it can get wet and even be fully immersed in water. But, after emptying the water out, it will work effectively.
3. Ice Picks
Carry ice picks which are used to help self-extricate yourself out of the water and back onto solid ice should you fall through. And, in the event of a fall through, turn back in the direction you came from. Distribute your weight onto the ice and roll away from the hole.
4. Float Coat or Lifejacket
Consider wearing a float-coat or lifejacket when recreating on the ice in the event of a fall-through. The float coat will provide warmth on the ice and in the event of a fall-through, the coat will provide buoyancy and extended hypothermia protection.
5. Maintain Control of Pets
Keep pets under control and off the ice. A large percentage of incidents occur because of people attempting to rescue their pets.
6. Keep Vehicles Off Ice
Never drive a vehicle onto the ice. And, if you have to, open your windows beforehand. Should the vehicle go through, your only escape route will be through the windows as the doors will not be able to be opened
Lastly, in the event of someone falling through, do not attempt to rescue them other than to perform a shore-based rescue by throwing something or extending something to them.
Call 911 as soon as possible to get the First Responders who are trained and equipped to respond.