ERIE, Pa. (Erie News Now) — The United States Coast Guard is reminding people to use extreme caution on ice along Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.
The Coast Guard said every year the Great Lakes region sees multiple accidents due to unstable ice, resulting in people in the water.
Additionally, personal recreational equipment is lost, such as snowmobiles and ATVs.
Current ice thickness is far below seasonal average, resulting in unstable, wake ice and extremely hazardous conditions. The ice coverage is historically low due to varying air temperatures this season.
The Coast Guard has seen two large ice rescue cases this season.
The Coast Guard recommends people take the following safety precautions when engaging in activities on or near the water:
- Wear the proper clothing to prevent hypothermia
- Wear bright colors to be easily seen
- Carry proper safety equipment
- whistle or noise making device
- waterproof VHF-FM radio
- personal locating beacon
- Ice awls or screwdrivers can be vital in self-rescue