Coast Guard warns of unsafe ice conditions throughout Saginaw Bay due to warming temperatures

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BAY CITY, Mich., — The Coast Guard is warning outdoor enthusiasts of unsafe ice conditions throughout Saginaw Bay, the Saginaw River and in the area surrounding the Consumers Power Plant locally known as the ‘Hot Ponds.’

The crew of Coast Guard Station Saginaw River in Essexville, Mich., warns that warm temperatures forecasted for the weekend will weaken the ice and could cause extremely hazardous ice conditions throughout the Saginaw Bay area. Snowmobilers and ice fisherman are particularly at risk.

The Coast Guard also wants to remind citizens to avoid venturing out on the ice alone. Proper precautions should always be taken before heading out on the water or the ice. In the last two weeks, five people have broken through the ice and entered the water. Fortunately, all of them were rescued but experienced severe hypothermia and two were hospitalized due to other injuries.

Before venturing out on the ice, the Coast Guard recommends that citizens remember the acronym I.C.E. to stay safe:

Information – know the weather and ice conditions, know and tell a trusted person on shore where you are going, and know how to call for help. Never go out alone.

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

Equipment – carry the proper equipment. Carry two ice picks or screwdrivers, which will help you pull yourself out of the ice if you fall through. They are much 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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