Coast Guard Stesses Ice Safety as the Weather Warms

BUFFALO- Coast Guard Sector Buffalo would like to re-enforce the need for people to use precautions when planning recreational activities on frozen ponds, streams, river and lakes in our area. Ice is unpredictable and dangerous; and ‘ALL’ ice is risky. While the Coast Guard understands winter recreation on the ice around the Great Lakes is a tradition, we would like to re-enforce our pledge for public responsibility and safety:

  • Always check the weather and ice conditions before any trip out onto the ice. Ice thickness is not consistent.
  • Always tell family and friends where you are going and when you are expected to be back – and stick to the plan.
  • Use the buddy system. NEVER go out onto the ice alone. If you choose to go out on the ice alone, stay in an area where other people can see you.
  • Dress in bright colors. Wear an exposure suit that is waterproof and a personal floatation device.
  • Carry a whistle or noise-making device to alert people that you are in distress; or carry a cell phone and/or a VHF-FM radio to contact the nearest Coast Guard station in case you see someone in distress.
  • Carry two ice picks or screwdrivers. If you fall through the ice you can use these items to get you out. They are more effective than using your hands.
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