Maine Warden Service recommends staying off ice at this time
AUGUSTA -- This month's warm weather coupled with recent snows means ice conditions are poor throughout much of the state. While some bodies of water in northern and northwestern Maine may be frozen, the majority in Maine are not, and are unsafe for recreation.
The Maine Warden Service recommends that you stay off the ice this holiday season, and offers these tips for ice safety:
- Never guess the thickness of the ice - Check it! Check the ice in several different places using an auger or some other means to make a test hole and determine the thickness. Make several, beginning at the shore, and continuing as you go out.
- If ice at the shoreline is cracked or squishy, stay off! Watch out for thin, clear or honeycombed ice. Dark snow and dark ice are other signs of weak spots.
- Avoid areas with currents, around bridges and pressure ridges. Wind and currents can break ice.
- Parents should alert children of unsafe ice in their area, and make sure that they stay off the ice. If they insist on using their new skates, suggest an indoor skating rink.
If you break through the ice, remember:
- Don't panic
- Don't try to climb out immediately - you will probably break the ice
again. Reach for solid ice.
- Lay both arms on the unbroken ice and kick hard. This will help lift your body onto the ice. Once on the ice, roll, DON'T WALK, to safety.
- To help someone who has fallen through the ice, lie down flat and reach with a branch, plank or rope or form a human chain. Don't stand. After securing the victim, wiggle backwards to the solid ice.