Ice Safety In Our Region

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ERIE, Pa. (Erie News Now) – Over the weekend 18 people were rescued from Lake Erie in Ohio after the ice the were on broke free and floated into the lake. So we are asking the question: is it safe to go on the ice in our region?

Bob Kostek spent Monday morning on the bay, coming up empty handed after several hours of ice fishing. He says it’s his first time out on Presque Isle Bay this year, because he waited for the ice to thicken.

“I’m never the first one out here, not in the morning, and especially in the season,” he said. “I wait until there’s a bunch of people out. It’s at least 8 inches thick right now. That’s more than safe.”

We checked ourselves and measured about a foot of ice.

Don Sauer of the Erie Fire Department dive team says the thicker the ice, the better he sleeps at night.

“Right now, I’m pretty confident that the ice down there is good and everybody should be safe,“ he said.

Although ice thickness can vary depending on where you are on a body of water, experts recommend a few general guidelines. For a single person, about 4 inches of ice will do. You need at least 5 to 7 for an atv or snowmobile, and if you want to get a full vehicle out on the ice, you need at least a foot.”

And even though the ice in our region seems more? than thick enough, Sauer says that’s not an excuse for recklessness.

Ice always poses a danger, so he says don’t go alone, and use common sense.

“Whenever you go out, you should at least go with a buddy, at least one,” Sauer said. “So if you get in an emergency or he has an emergency, a, they can call for help, and b, they can try to help while we are responding to the scene.”


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