Give Now

Ice Safety Tips Offered After Teen Dies Near Columbus

Conservation officers say “There is no such thing as safe ice, just safer ice."

Ice on pond

Photo: Dan Goldblatt

Conservation officers say digging into an icy pond is the only way to tell how solid the surface is.

Following the death of a teenager who fell through thin ice at a Bartholomew County lake Wednesday, Indiana conservation officers are reminding Hoosiers of ways to stay safe around frozen bodies of water.  In fact, conservation officer Angie Goldman said her department has a saying about ice safety.

“There is no such thing as safe ice, just safer ice.”

Goldman said ice must be at least three-to-four inches thick before it can support a person’s body weight, and several inches thicker than that before structures or vehicles can be on it.  The best way to determine the thickness, she said , is to bring a pick or a shovel and make a hole – or, better still, a few holes.

“The best thing to do is to make several holes in the area.  You know, if you’re going to clear an area to ice skate or just to venture out on it.  And make sure that the ice is thick all over that area,” she said.

Goldman advises that any activities which take place on ice are not entered into alone.  Additionally, she suggests wearing a life vest under one’s coat, carrying a whistle or some other noisemaker to call for help if the ice breaks and purchasing a small pick to help get hold of the ice should you fall underwater and need to extricate yourself.  If someone you’re with falls through the ice, Goldman said it’s important to first call for help and only then attempt to rescue the person in the water.  The best way to do that is to offer a rope or a long tree branch to the person in danger and to approach them from the side of the hole through which they fell in, in order to avoid falling in yourself.

Stan Jastrzebski

WFIU/WTIU News Senior Editor Stan Jastrzebski spent time as a reporter with WGN Radio in Chicago and as an editor at Network Indiana, an Indianapolis news service. Stan is the winner of awards from the Associated Press, the RTDNA, the Indiana Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. He hosts WFIU's Ask the Mayor and anchors WTIU's InFocus.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Search News

Stay Connected

RSS e-mail itunes Facebook Twitter Flickr YouTube

Follow us on Twitter

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Recent Health Stories

Recent Videos

Find Us on Facebook