Be Safe On the Ice | Big Horn Basin Media

Be Safe On the Ice

Written by on January 14, 2019

Now that the smaller reservoirs and lakes are frozen and the larger ones are beginning to freeze over, the Park County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind everyone to take proper precautions when venturing out onto the ice.

Many residents have begun their annual winter fishing expeditions which can turn tragic if common sense safety measures are not followed. That’s according to Lance Mathess with Park County Search and Rescue.

Sheriff Scott Steward points out that any number of conditions, including stress fractures, air pockets, or overly fatigued ice can cause otherwise strong ice to give way. He notes that without a personal floatation device, a victim can drown within 2-15 minutes, depending on the water temperature, because of loss of voluntary muscle control.

If you do fall through the ice, experts advise that you swim back to the point where you went in, deep kicking as you pull yourself on to the ice, and as you exit the water, stay low and flat to help spread your weight.

If you observe someone fall through the ice, do your best to reach to them with an object such as a tree branch, ski pole, or rope, but do not go on to the ice. Instead, call or go for help.

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