Safety on ice - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Safety on ice


ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC)-- Winter is here and although our first blanket of snow is gone...many outdoor enthusiasts are gnawing at the bit to get outside for a little fishing, snow-mobiling, skating or skiing. But safety on the ice is something you should keep in mind before stepping out.

Minnesota Department of Natural resources says people should not be out fishing unless the ice has reached 4 inches or more. For activities like snowmobiling or ATV's it should be at least 5 inches.

No matter what you choose to do on the ice its important to remember to wear some sort of floatation device in case of ice breaking.

Rochester firefighter, Mike Schultz says when rescue teams go out on a technical rescue, anybody who is 10 ft from the shoreline has to wear a floatation device.

Schultz says, "We reach out with something like a pipe or pole, if you can't reach them then you throw something to them...a rope...anything that you can throw and if that doesn't work, row out with a piece of equipment."

The most important thing to remember, if you do fall in, is not to panic. Often times when people hit the cold water their initial reaction is to breath in. If you're under the water, you are going to suck in at least a liter of water. That can be what causes you to drown.

Rescue teams follow a one-ten-one principle if people fall in.

Schultz explains, "You have one minute to catch your breath, you have ten minutes of useful rescue yourself, get yourself up onto the ice and get to safety. Then you have one hour before you are unconscious from hypothermia."

Check with your local resort or bait shop about the thickness of the ice or any known danger spots.

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