Coast Guard warns of unsafe ice conditions throughout Lakes Erie, Ontario

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BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Coast Guard is warning outdoor enthusiasts of unsafe ice conditions this weekend throughout Lakes Erie and Ontario and surrounding waterways and recommending people stay off the ice.

Coast Guard Sector Buffalo is issuing a warning that the warm temperatures forecasted for the weekend could increase the possibility of weakened ice.

“Ice conditions may deteriorate,” said Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Pequignot, Incident Management Division chief at Sector Buffalo. “With forecasted temperatures climbing to the 40s, this will weaken the ice.”

The combination of the impending rain and the warmer temperatures could cause extremely hazardous ice conditions throughout Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and inland waterways. The Coast Guard cautions those against ice fishing and transiting on the ice due to the unpredictability of ice breaking apart. The Coast Guard reminds those who go out to never venture out on the ice alone.

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.:

Intelligence – know the weather and ice conditions, know and tell a trusted shoreside person 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.

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