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When is Ice Safe?

February 19, 2010

Yesterday’s Burlington Free Press had a photo of a pickup truck that had broken through the ice in Malletts Bay on Lake Champlain.  Thankfully, there was no loss of life.   Lately, the temperatures have been mild and there has been quite a bit of wind.  Both factors weaken existing ice.

Earlier this winter season, Vermont experienced a terrible tragedy when snowmobiles broke through the ice on Lake Dunmore; 3 people from 3 generations of a family lost their lives .  It amazes me to drive across the causeway to the Lake Champlain Islands and see people and vehicles on the ice within 50 yards of open water.  What are they thinking!!?!   In 1987 ice fishermen were on Lake Champlain when the ice sheet they were on broke away; 20 people were rescued by helicopter.  Thankfully, there was no loss of life, and there hasn’t been a repeat incident of this type.

If you are going to be out on the ice, please click on our fact sheet, When is Ice Safe which is full of useful information.  Learn and heed the Ice Thickness Guidelines and the general ice safety advice. Make or buy ice safety picks to have on when on the ice.  By preparing properly, keeping your head, knowing the safety tips in the fact sheet and respecting the ice, tragedy can be prevented and you can enjoy your winter in the outdoors.

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