Coast Guard warns of unsafe ice conditions due to increasingly warm weather

Great Lakes Coast Guard News
DULUTH, Minn. — U.S. Coast Guard Station Duluth is issuing a warning Thursday that increasingly warm temperatures will greatly increase the possibility of weakened ice in the area.

The combination of warmer temperatures and shifting winds has caused extremely hazardous ice conditions throughout western Lake Superior and surrounding rivers.

The Coast Guard warns of the possibility of ice breaking apart with people ice fishing and transiting on the ice.

“Ice conditions along the north shore and western Lake Superior are rapidly changing and dangerously unstable,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Robert Pump, officer-in-charge of Station Duluth.  “With the prediction of south winds and warming temperatures over the next seven days, a high probability of the ice pack to break up and set adrift exists.”

“Venturing out onto Lake Superior ice is not recommended.”

The Coast Guard warns people to never venture out on the ice alone, and 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 jacket.

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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