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Warmer temperatures mean lake ice is becoming unsafe

The Minnesota DNR warns that ice 4 inches and thinner is not safe for ice fishing or any other activities on foot.

Posted: Mar. 15, 2019 7:06 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - The Minnesota DNR warns that ice 4 inches and thinner is not safe for ice fishing or any other activities on foot.

Sam Jaquith is a water and ice rescue specialist. It's his 35th year teaching the subject at Riverland Community College. He warns that the ice is becoming honeycombed, a process that happens when ice repeatedly thaws and re-freezes. At this time of the year, he considers the ice unsafe and advises people to stay off of it.

He wants to remind people about the 1-10-1 principle. In cold water, you have one minute to get your breathing under control, 10 minutes to attempt to rescue yourself or signal for help, and roughly an hour before you lose consciousness.

"And that's only, only if you have a p-f-d on. Without the PFD, you are going to succumb to hypothermia within that hour and without something floating you, you are not going to make it," Jaquith adds.

He advises people on the ice to always have ice picks with them and personal floatation devices for themselves and their animal companions. If someone else falls through the ice, call 911 and don't go in after them.

"The old phrase 'it's not going to happen to me' doesn't apply any more. It's not if, it's when it will happen," says Jaquith.

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