Coast Guard warns of unsafe ice conditions due to unusually warm temperatures

9th Coast Guard District NewsBAYFIELD, Wis. — The U.S. Coast Guard is issuing a warning Thursday that the unusually warm temperatures observed this year have greatly increased the possibility of weakened ice.

“Due to the unseasonably warm temperatures, the ice conditions on Lake Superior are deteriorating quickly and are inherently unsafe,” said Chief Petty Officer James Robertson, officer-in-charge of Coast Guard Station Bayfield, Wis.

The combination of warmer temperatures and shifting winds has caused extremely hazardous ice conditions on the lake. The Coast Guard cautions the public about venturing out on the ice and reminds all citizens that ice can be dangerous and unpredictable.

Proper precautions should always be taken before heading out on the water or the ice. When venturing out, a person should think I.C.E. as a precaution:

Intelligence – know the weather and ice conditions, know where you are going, and know how to call for help. Never go out alone.

Clothing – have the proper clothing to prevent hypothermia. Wear a waterproof exposure suit and a life preserver.

Equipment – have the proper equipment. Carry two ice picks or screwdrivers, in case you fall in. Use these items to dig into the ice and pull yourself out. They are more effective than bare hands! Carry a whistle or noise maker to alert people that you are in distress. Carry a cellular phone or marine band radio in a waterproof container so that you can call for help if you come across trouble.

Click here for more information regarding cold water and ice safety.

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