Ice Thickness Safety
In this episode of the Outside Health and Fitness podcast we're
talking about how to safe this winter fishing, skating and
skiing on frozen lakes and ponds.
On Today’s show you’ll discover...
- ... how to tell if the ice you’re about to go out on is
- ... what to do if you or
someone in your party falls through;
- ... and how to have a safe and fun time out on the ice this
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Winter Fun on Lakes and Ponds
When the conditions are right
many of the frozen lakes around here look like little cities with
clusters of ice houses, cars and tons of different activities
happening right out on the ice. It’s a carnival type of atmosphere and it can
be a lot of fun but there are dangers too.
The Dangers of Thin Ice
 The CDC says that Every day, about 10 people
drown in the US. When ice is involved it’s estimated that
over  50 percent of drowning victims were
attempting to rescue another person or an animal that fell through
If you’re going to venture out
on the ice you need to know about ice thickness safety, how to tell
if the ice you’re on will support you and what to do if you or
someone you’re with falls through.
Assessing The Ice
There are three things that
together, can help you make an assessment of ice
- Visual Inspection
- Measure It
- Check with local experts and resources
 It’s important to
keep in mind that the ice may be thick in one area but thin in
others. Currents and flowing water can cause ice to become very
thin. Another concern is the chance of ice thawing even when under
a blanket of snow. Bodies of water freeze and thaw throughout the
winter and that can make the ice unstable.
-  Generally if the ice is blue,
clear or green that indicates that it may be safe for skating,
skiing and walking and you should do further
it's dark that can indicate it’s too thin and should be avoided.
the ice is white it may be weak with air or snow trapped
- Finally, look for signs of open
Ice Thickness Guidelines
- 3.5" - 4" or more - walking, skating, skiing, fishing
- 7" or more - passenger car
- 10" or more - small truck
thickness Safety Guide from the Farmer's Almanac.
What to Bring for Safety
- friend and never go out on the ice alone.
- life jacket,
- ice picks,
- a cell phone and
- a length of rope
Survival Tips if You Fall In
- Try not to flail your arms but
do keep them above water and warm if possible.
- Don't remove your clothes,
especially your boots because they may actually help to keep you
- Once back at the ice edge try hoisting yourself out by kicking
- Call 911 ASAP
something that may float to the person in trouble or use a long
pole to extend to them.
- Ladders can be used so long as you don’t get on
the ice yourself.
like tree branches, garden hoses, small boats or ropes can
also be used to help provide the victim with self-rescue
try and enter the water to rescue someone.
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