Do you think thick ice is stronger than thin ice? Even thick ice may be weak if it is “rotten” or contains layers of snow. Rotten ice has frozen and thawed repeatedly, making it potentially fragile even when it appears solid. Snow can also act as an insulating blanket, hindering ice formation and growth. Currents, wind and fluctuating water levels can also weaken ice.
Before you venture out on the ice, check the weather and avoid going on the ice on warm or stormy days. More tips from the Lifesaving Society Manitoba include:
- Wear a floater coat, buoyant snowmobile suit or lifejacket whenever you are on the ice. It could save your life.
- Never go onto the ice alone.
- Carry ice picks, ice poles, and rope.
- Before you leave shore, tell someone of your destination and expected time of return.
- Keep away from unfamiliar paths or unknown ice.
- Avoid going on ice at night.
- Avoid vehicle travel on ice whenever possible.
- Never snowmobile, walk, snowshoe, crosscountry ski, skate, or ice fish near generating stations. The ice can be dangerously thin and unstable even if it appears solid.