for known thin ice areas with a local resort or bait shop.
the thickness yourself using an ice chisel, ice auger or even
a cordless 1/4 inch drill with a long bit.
from driving on ice whenever possible.
you must drive a vehicle, be prepared to leave it in a
hurry--keep windows down, unbuckle your seat belt and have a
simple emergency plan of action you have discussed with your
away from alcoholic beverages.
"just a couple of beers" are enough to cause a
careless error in judgment that could cost you your life. And
contrary to common belief, alcohol actually makes you colder
rather than warming you up.
"overdrive" your snowmobile's headlight.
even 30 miles per hour, it can take a much longer distance to
stop on ice than your headlight shines. Many fatal snowmobile
through-the-ice accidents occur because the machine was
travelling too fast for the operator to stop when the headlamp
illuminated the hole in the ice.
a life vest under your winter gear.
wear one of the new flotation snowmobile suits. And it's a
good idea to carry a pair of ice picks that may be home made
or purchased from most well stocked sporting goods stores that
cater to winter anglers. It's amazing how difficult it can be
to pull yourself back onto the surface of unbroken but wet and
slippery ice while wearing a snowmobile suit weighted down
with 60 lbs of water. The ice picks really help pulling
yourself back onto solid ice. CAUTION: Do NOT wear a
flotation device when travelling across the ice in an enclosed
if a companion falls through thin ice?
calm and think out a solution.
run up to the hole. You'll probably break through and then
there will be two victims.
some item on shore to throw or extend to the victim to
pull them out of the water such as jumper cables or skis,
or push a boat ahead of you.
you can't rescue the victim immediately, call 911. It's
amazing how many people carry cellphones.
medical assistance for the victim. People who are
subjected to cold water immersion but seem fine after
being rescued can suffer a potentially fatal condition
called "after drop" that may occur when cold
blood that is pooled in the body's extremities starts to
circulate again as the victim starts to re-warm.
if YOU fall in?
not to panic. Instead, remain calm and turn toward the
direction you came from. Place your hands and arms on the
unbroken surface of the ice (here's where the ice picks come
in handy.) Work forward on the ice by kicking your feet. If
the ice breaks, maintain your position and slide forward
again. Once you are lying on the ice, don't stand. Instead,
roll away from the hole. That spreads out your weight until
you are on solid ice. This sounds much easier than it really
is to do.
best advice is don't put yourself into needless danger by
venturing out too soon or too late in the season. No angler,
no matter how much of a fishing enthusiast, would want to die
for a crappie.
more information on ice safety contact the MD DNR and ask for
a free ice safety publications, which includes the brochures,
"Danger, Thin Ice" and "Hypothermia the Cold
Facts" and the wallet-sized reference cards and 11X14
posters titled, "Minimum Recommended Ice Thicknesses."
Metro 410-260-8DNR or toll free outside the metro area
1-877-620-8DNR or email the Information Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.