January 28, 2014

Public Safety Officials urge residents to stay off frozen lakes, ponds and streams

In the past month, Clermont County Public Safety officials have responded to two incidents where individuals have fallen through thin ice on local ponds.  Public Safety Officials are urging residents to stay off frozen lakes, ponds and streams.

There are many factors that can influence the strength of ice.  Fluctuations in air temperature can cause a thawing and refreezing – weakening the ice.  Uneven ice thickness, wind, water levels, underwater currents, snow cover, and tree stumps and rocks can also weaken ice.   Even though ice may appear solid, the dangers of breaking through the ice are very real.

If you see someone fall through the ice, do not go out onto the ice.  Many would-be rescuers have become victims themselves.   Call 9-1-1 for help immediately.   Then assist from a safe location.  Use a pole, ladder, tree branch or rope to keep the individual afloat.  When the victim grabs the assist, pull gently to ease him or her out of the water.   Have the individual crawl towards the shore.

If you fall through the ice, stay calm.  Turn toward the direction you came from and place your hands and arms on the ice.  Kick with your legs to push yourself forward out of the water and onto the ice.  Remain lying down to keep your weight evenly distributed.  Crawl toward the shore and seek medical attention immediately.

Protect your pets by keeping them on a leash when near lakes, ponds, and streams.  If your pet falls through the ice, call for help immediately.   Do not go out on the ice.   Avoid becoming a victim yourself.

For additional ice safety tips, go to: http://ohioline.osu.edu/aex-fact/pdf/0392.pdf.   For additional winter weather preparedness tips, go to: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/pdf/extreme-cold-guide.pdf

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