Winter should be coming to a close soon and seasonal sports like skiing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing are all but done. Weather fluctuations eat away at the snow and the ice on standing bodies of water is thinning a bit each day. Thin ice creeps up on us during this time of year and deserves respect especially if you enjoy ice fishing or snowmobiling.
If you are headed out onto the ice this spring, please venture out safely. Experienced cold weather enthusiasts in addition to novices would do well to review this list of things that affect the safeness of ice.
- How thick the ice is
- Age of the ice
- Amount of snow on top of the ice
- Size of the body of water that the ice covers
- Water currents
- Ice shifts – cracks that open and close
- Type of ice (honeycomb, clear, etc)
No ice can be considered 100% safe and it can be challenging to gage the safety even with years of experience. Please keep these things in mind.
- Extreme cold after a warming trend will actually weaken ice.
- Ice on rivers and streams is much thinner and deteriorates significantly faster than on lakes and ponds.
- Snow can act as an insulator thus making ice warmer and weaker.
- Again, ice is never 100% safe.
If you are headed out on the ice please consider embracing these potentially lifesaving tips.
- Wear a life jacket.
- Carry ice picks to help pull yourself back up onto the slippery ice.
- Tell family/friends where you’ll be on the ice and when you expect to be back so they can send help if you don’t return on time.
- Take your cell phone in case of emergency or to alert loved ones if your plans change.
Please stay safe this spring. We want to see you helping others when you visit us at the Trauma Center at Theda Clark.