ND Game and Fish: Reminder of safety in icy conditions

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The North Dakota Game and Fish Department want to remind you how to stay safe this season when it comes to icy conditions.

Some quick facts about ice when outside are that new ice is stronger than old ice, look for clear blue ice, ice thickness is not consistent, beware of ice around partially submerged like trees and bushes and don’t forget to drill test holes when ice fishing to judge the thickness of the ice.

Below is their general rule of thumb for ice:

  • 2 inches — STAY OFF
  • 4 inches — good ice for a walking individual
  • 6 inches — good ice for a snowmobile or ATV
  • 8 to 12 inches — good ice for a car or small pickup
  • 12 to 15 inches — good ice for a medium pickup truck.

Be sure to carry a safety kit that includes an ice chisel and pick in case of emergencies.

So, what do you do if you fall in? First, they said try not to panic.

Next, turn toward the direction you came — the safest place to pull yourself back up on the ice is the last place you stepped before you went through the ice.

Then, place your hands and arms on the unbroken surface of the ice.

Work your way up by kicking your feet.

Lastly, use your ice picks to assist in pulling yourself onto the ice. Once you are lying on the ice, roll away from the weak or broken ice, don’t attempt to stand up.

What if a friend falls in? It’s just as important to keep calm as well and do not run out to assist your friend. You can go from rescuer to victim in a short second.

Reach your friend with a long pole, board, rope, blanket or cables.

Throw your friend a life jacket, empty water jug or another buoyant object to hold onto.

Build a human chain in which rescuers lie on the ice with each person grasping the feet of the person in front.

They also said to be aware of hypothermia.

To treat hypothermia, remove wet clothing and replace it with dry clothing.

Get medical assistance — people who have been in cold water may seem fine at first but may suffer potential life-threatening effects when the cold blood starts to circulate through the body from the extremities.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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