VIDEO REPORT: Being Safe on the Ice

By: Britni McDonald
By: Britni McDonald

Posted January 28, 2013--- 6:12 p.m.
By: Britni McDonald

Warming temperatures means melting ice, causing concern for those who head out on it.

"Today's very warm the ice is thinning up. Tomorrow's going to be very dangerous," said Lt. Michael Dibble with Madison fire.

Limnology professor John Magnuson says this season's freeze date is one of the sixth latest on record, meaning the lakes just froze over this month.

"It's a dangerous time," he said. "You may have thick enough ice for a few 100 yards, but you may find as you go out to the middle you're on thin ice."

Every inch of ice counts, determining safety for someone just walking out on the ice to driving a snowmobile or truck across it.

But to know how thick it is, Lt. Dibble said, "You'd have to drill a hole with an auger and look at the weather."

Once you're on the ice, proper safety equipment is key-- flotation, ice picks, and life vest/suit.

Ice is unpredictable, and if someone does break through, lake rescue crews are prepared with an ARGO unit and flotation suits to get to the victim quickly.

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