Tips to make being on ice safer

Ice is, at best, unpredictable, but the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and other ice experts have some tips to make being on ice safer:

• New ice, which is clear and may have a light blue tint, is the strongest ice and the one used for guidelines such as not walking on ice less than 4 inches thick. Cloudy white ice or snow-covered ice needs to be twice as thick as clear ice to be safe.

• Water coming up through a hole in the ice is a sign of danger.

• Ice seldom freezes uniformly. Thickness can vary greatly in just a couple of feet.

• When water beneath ice is flowing, it is more dangerous than where water is calm.

• People going out on ice should check the thickness at least every 100 feet.

• Snowmobilers and vehicle drivers should understand that unless they drive slow at night that a headlight may not show a hole in ice in time to avoid it.

• Checking with a local bait shop or lakeside resort may provide an idea about how safe ice is in the area.

• Vehicles on ice should be parked at least 50 feet apart and moved every two hours to prevent sinking.

• It is a good idea to make a hole next to a vehicle and if water starts to flow over a hole it is time to move the vehicle.

• Wear a life vest unless riding in an enclosed vehicle. Some jackets and vests inflate if they contact water.

• Roll windows down in an enclosed vehicle to provide an escape route if it sinks.

• Carry ice picks that can help get a grip when trying to climb out of water onto ice after a fall.

• Heavy clothing will help a person float after falling into water.

• If someone else falls in, do not immediately go up to the edge of the hole. Try to get help or toss in something with a rope or a long pole to help the person and avoid having two people in danger.

• Never go onto ice alone.

By Don Davis

Source, images, credits & more information: DLOnline

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