Maine Warden Service urges you to check the ice before heading out on the
ice Tuesday, December 30, 2003 |
AUGUSTA - An early freeze skimmed over lakes and ponds in much of Maine, but snow, rain and warm weather have made ice conditions unpredictable in many parts of the state. Currently the Maine Warden Service is recommending that people check the thickness of any ice before venturing out for any activity on frozen water.
The Maine Warden Service offers these tips for ice safety:
If you break through the ice, remember:
- Never guess the thickness of the ice - Check it! Check the ice in several different places using an auger or some other means to make a test hole and determine the thickness. Make several, beginning at the shore, and continuing as you go out.
- Check the ice with a partner, so if something does happen, someone is there to help you. If you are doing it alone, wear a lifejacket.
- If ice at the shoreline is cracked or squishy, stay off! Watch out for thin, clear or honeycombed ice. Dark snow and dark ice are other signs of weak spots.
- Avoid areas with currents, around bridges and pressure ridges. Wind and currents can break ice.
- Parents should alert children of unsafe ice in their area, and make sure that they stay off the ice. If they insist on using their new skates, suggest an indoor skating rink.
- Don't panic
- Don't try to climb out immediately - you will probably break the ice again. Reach for solid ice.
- Lay both arms on the unbroken ice and kick hard. This will help lift your body onto the ice. Once on the ice, roll, DON'T WALK, to safety.
- To help someone who has fallen through the ice, lie down flat and reach with a branch, plank or rope or form a human chain. Don't stand. After securing the victim, wiggle backwards to the solid ice.