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Ice Becoming Dangerous; Wardens Urge Caution
March 7, 2013
Augusta – The Maine Warden Service and the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is issuing a warning to anyone who might venture onto the ice: it is quickly becoming unstable.
The Maine Warden Service responded to a call this morning after a man went through the ice in his truck while retrieving an ice fishing shack from Hermon Pond in central Maine.
While the man was able to get out of the truck safely, the incident serves as a reminder to take safety precautions on and near the ice, especially as ice is already melting and warmer temperatures are forecasted for this weekend.
The Warden Service reminds everyone recreating on or around ice to test the thickness of the ice using an ice chisel or ice auger and check with local bait shops for known thin ice areas. Ice that forms over flowing water and currents, especially near streams, bridges and culverts, can be particularly dangerous.
Wearing a life vest under your gear and having a pair of accessible ice picks can be life-saving decisions if you do fall through the ice. Remember that a helmet and snowmobile suit, even if it’s non-buoyant, may keep you afloat for several minutes. Kicking your feet like a seal can help propel you onto the ice.
If you witness someone fall into the ice, call 911. Instead of putting yourself in danger by trying to reach the victim, assist them from the shore by reassuring them help is on the way and extend objects like a rope, ladder or jumper cables to them if it’s safe to do so.
Refrain from driving on ice whenever possible. If you must do so, make sure to keep the windows down, unbuckle your seat belt and discuss emergency plans with any passengers in case you need to exit the vehicle quickly.