Each fall the temperature drops and our lakes and rivers become covered in ice. Please take a moment before you venture onto the ice to review these ice safety tips courtesy of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Ice Safety Tips
When is ice safe? The truth is that ice is never 100 percent safe. Take these steps to minimize risk when choosing to recreate on frozen bodies of water:
- Check the thermometer, not the calendar. Air temperature and recent weather patterns can significantly impact ice quality. Just because the ice was safe on a certain date last year doesn’t mean it will be safe this year.
- Ask locally about ice conditions and hazards. Check with local resorts and bait shops for current ice reports and to learn about any known hazardous areas.
- Tell someone your plans. Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back. Carry a cell phone and/or personal locator beacon with you in case of trouble.
- Be prepared – bring your ice safety kit. Always bring the following with you on the ice: rope, ice picks, ice chisel and tape measure.
- Check ice thickness at regular intervals. Know how to use the ice picks to rescue yourself and the rope to rescue others.
- Wear your life jacket! A life jacket or float coat should be worn when you are on the ice (except when in a vehicle). If you fall in, a foam-filled vest or coat will keep you at the surface and provide some insulation against the effects of cold water.