MAYVILLE – The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office is offering saftey tips to residents so they can stay safe while partaking in winter sports activities this season.
Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone said with recent cold weather causing many lakes, ponds and streams to freeze over, the quality and weight-bearing capacity of the ice can vary considerably, even on the same body of water.
Quattrone said ice fishermen and others using the ice can give themselves an extra margin of protection by following some basic safety rules.
- Assume that all ice is unsafe until proven otherwise.
- Avoid moving water and stream inlets as well as areas around dock pilings and other structures that are slower to freeze and quicker to thaw.
- Understand that much greater ice thickness is required to support a snowmobile, ATV or group of people than an individual person.
- Check with someone knowledgeable of the location you plan to use and any hidden hazards, if you are unfamiliar with the area.
- Plan your activity on the ice, let someone know what your plan is and stick to it.
- Dress appropriately for conditions to prevent hypothermia.
- Wear a personal floatation device while on the ice to increase your chances of surviving an accident.
- Consider obtaining additional information related to self-rescue and survival of ice and cold water incidents.