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Watch Out for Thin Ice! -Residents Reminded to Stay Off Ice on Lakes and Ponds


Watch Out for Thin Ice!

Residents Reminded to Stay Off Ice on Lakes and Ponds

Immediate Release Contact: David Chauvin January 4, 2006 (516) 869-7794

Manhasset, NY – Walking on thin ice can prove dangerous and Supervisor Jon Kaiman and Councilman Wayne Wink are urging residents not to be tempted to venture too close to the edge of frozen ponds and lakes this winter. The ice may look inviting to skaters, but as soon as you take a step onto a frozen lake you could be putting yourself in danger.

“It is vital that people do not step out on to frozen waterways. Determining the strength of the ice is extremely difficult, especially for an untrained individual,” said Supervisor Kaiman. “Ice must be at least six inches thick before it can maintain the weight of a person, and to freeze to the right thickness, the temperature must be well below freezing for weeks.”

To remind people of the dangers of thin ice, the Town’s Department of Parks and Recreation posts warning signs with blue dots along the perimeter of the town’s lakes and ponds. Special ladders and ropes are also installed around the edges for trained personnel to use in the event of an emergency.

“The strength of the ice can be affected by the depth of the water, the size of the body of water, the distribution of weight on the ice, and most importantly the temperature,” added Councilman Wink. “In addition, parents need to warn their children of the dangers associated with playing on the ice.”

The following are some important tips to stay safe on the ice this winter:

  • Never go on frozen waters unless clearly marked otherwise by official signs. In particular, beware of ice around partially submerged objects, such as trees, logs, brush, embankments or dam structures.
  • Parents and caregivers should make sure children never go unattended near ice.
  • If you hear cracking, lie down immediately to try to distribute your weight.
  • If you fall in try not to panic. Instead, remain calm and turn toward the direction you came from. Place your hands and arms on the unbroken surface of the ice and work forward on the ice by kicking your feet. If the ice breaks, maintain your position and slide forward again. Once you are lying on the ice, don't stand. Instead, roll away from the hole.
  • If you witness someone falling through ice, never attempt to make a rescue by yourself. Call 911 and notify the proper authorities and be sure to give the exact location and an account of the incident.

If the ice becomes strong enough, the Department of Parks and Recreation will designate safe-skating areas at the following locations: Mill Pond in Port Washington; Searingtown Pond in Searingtown; and Ridders Pond in New Hyde Park. Signs marked with a red dot will be clearly posted to show that these areas are safe for skating. If you should have any questions please call 311.

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