‘Stay off the ice,’ firefighters say

WWNY ‘Stay off the ice,’ firefighters say

CHAUMONT, N.Y. (WWNY) - At 9:30 Friday morning, a UTV fell through the ice near the Chaumont boat launch.

The driver was stuck until fire crews arrived.

“He was sitting on top of his UTV when we got out. We were able to send a crew out there to retrieve him and now we are waiting for a salvage crew to be able to get it out, the machine,” said Will Lipczynski, 1st assistant chief, Chaumont Fire Department.

As we talked to officials about this incident, a call came in about another incident - an ATV caving in just off shore on Point Salubrious.

The ATV was found to be submerged under water, but the person who fell in was able to be pulled out and treated by medical personnel.

Emergency medical technicians say that person was lucky to only have suffered minor injuries.

“With the immediate shock to your body, it’s really hard to really focus on what you are going to do to get out of that situation,” said Maeghan Silva, EMT, Guilfolyle Ambulance.

Fire officials say the warm temperatures over the past few days have led the ice to melt, even starting to crack in certain areas.

They are urging people to stay off the ice.

“Do not take the machines out there; they are too heavy now. The ice can not handle the machines anymore. You’re are going to have to walk out there. But honestly the best advice is to stay off the ice, the ice is not safe anymore,” said Lipczynski.

After the first UTV went in, the fire departments closed the boat launch indefinitely.

New York State Parks put in a request to Albany to try to officially close it until all of the ice melts.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Coast Guard out of Buffalo is encouraging extreme caution on the ice along Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, and the Finger Lakes. This stemming from incidents in Alexandria Bay and Oneida lake as well.

The Coast Guard says current ice thickness are below seasonal averages, resulting in weak ice and hazardous conditions.

The public is advised not to venture onto the ice. Never assume the ice is safe, even if others are on it.

The Coast Guard also says to bundle up as Hypothermia is the biggest danger after falling in the ice.

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