NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Just because temperatures are below freezing, doesn’t mean it’s safe to be out on the ice.
Kids are home on school break and Deputy Fire Chief Christopher Norris wants parents to know, the only safe ice, is the ice in your local skating rink.
Around this time of the year, people who enjoy recreational activities on the ice, are starting to venture out. But according to MassWildlife, there are no guarantees when it comes to knowing if the ice is safe enough.
Before venturing out onto the ice, make sure someone knows where you’re going. Bring your fully charged cell phone with you encase of an emergency and wear your life jacket, just encase you fall into a water.
Fluctuating temperatures can create unknown dangers.
“That ice is expanding and contracting everyday,” said Chief Norris. “That creates those weak spots, throughout different bodies of water as well, which again, goes to our point that we really can’t declare any ice, safe ice.”
And if you fall in, don’t panic. Keep your body moving. You have between 15 and 30 minutes to get to safety, before hypothermia sets in.
“Otherwise your body temperature starts to drop and you don’t shiver anymore,” Dr. R.F. Conway of AEIOU Urgent Care told 22News. “You begin to get confused and subsequently, if you can’t get out of the water, you’re going to end up drowning.”
Before venturing out on the ice, make sure it’s at least 4 inches thick for ice fishing and 5 inches for snowmobiles or off road vehicles.
Chief Norris told 22News, at this time, they have not had to rescue anyone from the water.
He said, they hope to keep it that way.