Editorial: Be cautious when out on thin ice

Published 7:55 pm Monday, November 26, 2018

At the start of the winter season, we urge you to take extra precaution when venturing out onto any area lakes.

Just last week, a woman fell through the ice of Clear Lake after going out to find her dog that had wandered out onto the ice. Thankfully, she was rescued by Clear Lake police officers, who were first to arrive at the scene.

Though temperatures are expected to be cold the first half of this week, temperatures are expected to move back up into the lower to mid-30s for the second half of the week.

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Before you go out, take note of the thickness of the ice.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources advises new, clear ice be at least 4 inches thick for ice fishing or other activities on foot.

It should be at least 5 to 7 inches for a snowmobile or an all-terrain vehicle, and 8 to 12 inches for a car or small pickup and 12 to 15 inches for a medium truck. All of these minimums should be doubled for white ice or ice covered with heavy snow.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources offers the following additional guidelines for safety on ice:

• Always wear a life jacket on the ice (except when in a vehicle).

• Children should never be unsupervised around ice.

• Caution children to stay off ponds, streams and other bodies of water.

• A thin coating of ice on a pond or lake does not mean it is safe.

• Check ice thickness at regular intervals — conditions can change quickly.

• Before heading out, inquire about conditions and known hazards with local experts.

• Avoid channels and rivers.

Talk about this with your children and make sure they understand these guidelines as well.

They will thank you later.