Monday, December 8, 2014

Staying Safe on the Lakes this Winter


Now that this cold, winter like weather is finally upon us, it’s important to keep in mind some extra safety advice. During this winter season many of us will travel out onto frozen lakes and it’s important to remember the dangers of thin or unsafe ice. 

There is no such thing as 100% safe ice. It’s important that you don’t try to judge the strength of ice just by its appearance, the time of year, or the current temperature. Although these are important things to remember, the true strength of the ice is based off much more. All of the aforementioned factors are important, but other factors to take into consideration are, but are not limited to: the depth of the water under the ice, the size of the body of water, water currents, and the distribution of your weight. 

There are however, some general guidelines given by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for the thickness of ice depending on your weight, as seen in the picture below.  

*Note: These are Rough guidelines; always use extreme caution with ice safety

However, if the unexpected happens and you do break through the ice, it’s important to not panic and to be as mentally prepared as possible. When you’re traveling on ice, always make sure you have some sort of ice picks to help you pull yourself out of the water if needed. As you pull yourself out, remember to spread your weight out as much as possible to reduce the odds of the ice breaking underneath you again. If you do manage to get out of the water, make sure to head back in the direction you originally came from; this is important because the ice you have already traveled on is the only path you know is safe.  Finally, get to shelter and warmth as soon as possible to avoid getting frostbite or hypothermia. 

Most importantly: never travel on ice alone, always be cautious, and always be prepared for the worst.  

Thank you for your time and attention.  Let’s make it safe this Monday.

Christopher Feigal
Demand Generation Specialist, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company

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