Coast Guard warns ice thin, weak, unstable

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 4:11 PM EST
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SACKETS HARBOR, New York (WWNY) - We’re in the dead of winter.

It’s bitterly cold much of the time.

Don’t let that fool you.

The U.S. Coast Guard is out with a warning for people who venture onto the ice of Lake Ontario or the St. Lawrence River.

“The ice is just now starting to form on the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence Seaway, so the ice is still thin and it’s certainly not safe,” said Peter Nelson, the Officer in Charge at the Coast Guard station in Alexandria Bay.

Nelson said the thickness of the ice is well below average, which will be problematic at the end of the winter season, when many thin ice accidents typically occur.

Black River Bay in Sackets Harbor draws people for ice fishing.

But the local fire department says that may not be the best idea.

“All you do is go around Navy Point and you’ve got open water, so they’re out there - they’ve probably got two to three inches of ice, they’re really pushing it for having enough ice to be out there safely,” said Stephen Sullivan, a captain with the fire department.

In any event, there are common sense precautions you should take if you plan to venture onto the ice.

“Have the right equipment, the right clothing and have a friend and tell someone where you are going so if you don’t come back, at least someone knows to let us know where you were fishing or where you were riding your snowmobile or ATV,” said Nelson, from the Coast Guard.

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