Rock County coroner warns of thin ice - – Rockford’s News Leader

Rock County coroner warns of thin ice


With 18 ice-related deaths in the state of Wisconsin this season and a recent death of a Beloit man, the Rock County Coroner's Office is sharing some tips to keep safe on the ice.

The following information from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is a good reminder of what weight can be supported on certain amounts of ice.

For new, clear ice ONLY, double the amounts below for white ice (snow ice):

  • 2" or less - STAY OFF the ice
  • 4" - Ice fishing or other foot activities
  • 5" - Snowmobile or ATVs can be supported
  • 8" to 12" - Car or small pickup can be supported
  • 12" to 15" - Medium truck can be supported

If you fall through the ice, the office recommends the following tips:

  • Do not remove winter clothing, outer clothing can trap air, providing warmth and flotation
  • Turn in the direction from which you came because that is likely the strongest ice
  • Place hands and arms on the unbroken surface
  • Kick feet and dig in to work your way back onto solid ice
  • Once out, lie flat on the ice and roll away from the hole to keep your weight spread out, which could help prevent you from falling through again
  • Get to a warm, dry, sheltered area immediately, in case of hypothermia, seek medical attention—the shock of chilled blood going back to your heart could cause a life-threatening emergency

If you see someone in need of assistance, call 911 and resist the urge to run to the edge of the hole, because that could possibly put you at risk.

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