Safety tips before venturing onto the ice

Safety tips before venturing onto the ice

NEAGUNEE — Teal Lake in Negaunee has frozen over, which might mean it’s almost ice fishing season, but it’s important to take safety precautions before venturing out onto any frozen body of water.

The Marquette County Ice Rescue Team recommends an ice thickness of four inches before stepping onto the ice. Even with four inches of ice below your feet, the ice still might not be safe.

“The sheriff’s department recommends no ice is safe ice, and the appearance of ice alone over a body of water doesn’t determine the thickness.  Ice freezes from the bottom up, so the appearance alone doesn’t determine the ice thickness,” Marquette County Sheriff’s Department Cpl. Errol Lukkarinen said.

If you’re going to be out on the ice, make sure to use the buddy system and never venture onto the ice alone.

“Tell someone where you’re going, what time you’re going to be back; have some type of plan and have some type of survival plan also,” Cpl. Lukkarinen said. “Maybe leaving a bag of dry clothes in your vehicle, taking extra equipment with you just in case you do break through the ice.”

Lukkarinen also suggests bringing a life jacket and some sort of ice pick to pull yourself out of the water if you do break through the ice.