SEEKONK, Mass. (WPRI) — While outdoor activities during the winter can be fun, those involving ice can be dangerous if the proper precautions aren’t taken.
It’s often difficult to know whether a frozen body of water is safe to stand on, since its strength can be determined by a number of factors.
The Rhode Island DEM’s state parks division says “there is no such thing as 100 percent safe ice” outside of a dedicated rink. Here are some safety tips they provided for anyone looking to go out on the ice:
- Never assume the ice is safe.
- The only safe ice is at a rink.
- Never skate on an untested lake or pond.
- The ice should be at least six inches thick.
- Never skate alone, at night, or in the dark.
- Know the surrounding area and where to ask for help.
- Never use ice as a shortcut.
- Never go out onto the ice after an animal or toy.
In the event of an ice-related emergency, the state parks division says to follow these steps:
- Call 911.
- Do not try to rescue the victim yourself.
- Try to calm and reassure the victim.
- If with an adult, have the adult try and assist the victim from shore.
- Give the victim something to help them stay afloat.
- If the victim is stable and afloat, try to send something to reach and retrieve them.
- If victim is brought to shore, take steps to keep them warm until rescue personnel arrive.