With Winter well underway, seasonal activities are giving a respite from the constraints and isolation of the past year’s pandemic. COVID precautions remain in place and thus many indoor recreational activities have been replaced by outside endeavors. As a result, people have turned from activities such as ice skating in rinks to skating on frozen waterways.
While many enjoy these activities without incident, in the past few weeks we’ve noticed many near misses in which people have fallen through the ice and had to be rescued. The effects of hypothermia on the body when immersed in these waters can quickly drain the strength and dexterity of a person. Within an extremely short time you may not be able to rescue yourself from the water if you find yourself in this situation.
Ice safety is one of the main tenants upon which NPSS was founded and continues to be a focus of our work today. We have said many times – Please remember that when talking about ice covers on natural bodies of water that “no ice is safe ice”. There are many factors that dictate the strength of ice, far beyond simply the ice thickness. Take the time to learn about ice safety, be prepared, and when in doubt contact your local public safety agency.
We all want to be out and social with others but we need to remain aware of these risks and enjoy the outdoors this season in a safe manner. Help us prevent a tragedy – Be informed, Be prepared, Be safe!