ORRINGTON – Ice fishing, ice skating, maybe even a game of ice hockey, are some favorite winter activities for those who love to be on the water even when it’s frozen. Game wardens want you to make sure it’s safe before you go on.
“The ice conditions for this winter have been up and down. We’ve had rain, we’ve had some cold weather, then we had rain back and forth,” said Warden Rick Ouellette. “That really plays a risky part in ice safety because what was safe yesterday might not be safe today.”
To know if the ice is safe Ouellette said to look at the color of it.
“Thin and crispy is way too risky and true and blue is blue ice that’s a good thickness and can support more weight,” he said.
Ouellette also suggested bringing an ice chisel and checking the condition often. If it feels solid and there has already been activity on the ice, he said it should be safe to venture on.
What should you do if you happen to fall through the ice? Ouellette said it’s a self-rescue situation.
“The best thing you can do is kick. Kick the back of your feet and get yourself up on to the ice. When you get yourself on to the ice, which you will if you kick vigorously, don’t try to stand right up,” Ouellette said.
“Roll on to good ice versus standing right up because you’re putting all your pressure back in one spot and you’re probably just going to break through again and it’s a vicious cycle,” he said.
Ouellette said this is just the beginning of winter. There is still plenty of time for the temperature to drop and the ice to freeze.
“It’ll come and we can enjoy it,’ he said.