Skating on Thin Ice? It Could be a Dangerous Reality if You Don't Follow These Rules
This NH1 News video from 2016 shows what do do if you fall through thin ice.
CONCORD — The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is reminding outdoor enthusiasts to use caution on the ice, despite the recent cold temperatures.
Fish and Game Department said some areas may look deceptively safe. Ice can be thick, but not strong, if warmer weather breaks down the ice and then the slushy surface re-freezes.
For a person to travel on the ice by foot, there should be at least 6 inches of ice. If you have a snow machine or all-terrain vehicle, it should be at least 8 inches thick, according to U.S. Army Cold Regions Research & Engineering Laboratory in Hanover. No representatives were available at the Hanover laboratory on Tuesday to answer further questions. Other natural resource departments in Minnesota and North Dakota have said that for small cars, the thickness for fresh, clear ice should be 8-12 inches and 12-15 inches for a small truck.
New Hampshire Fish and Game doesn't issue its own recommendations "because ice doesn't freeze uniformly," said Capt. David Walsh.
Fish and Game said to also use the following rules when it comes to keeping safe.
- Stay off the ice along the shoreline if it is cracked or squishy. Don’t go on the ice during thaws.
- Watch out for thin, clear or honeycombed ice. Dark snow and ice may also indicate weak spots.
- Small bodies of water tend to freeze thicker. Rivers and lakes are more prone to wind, currents and wave action that weaken ice.
- Don’t gather in large groups or drive large vehicles onto the ice.
- If you do break through the ice, don’t panic. Move or swim back to where you fell in, where you know the ice was solid. Lay both arms on the unbroken ice and kick hard. This will help lift your body onto the ice. A set of ice picks can help you pull yourself out if you do fall through the ice; wear them around your neck or put them in an easily accessible pocket. Once out of the water, roll away from the hole until you reach solid ice.
For more information on ice safety, click here.