WATERTOWN — The U.S. Coast Guard is reminding the public to exercise extreme caution on ice along Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.
Annual accidents due to ice instability have resulted in people entering the water and losing personal recreational equipment, like snowmobiles and ATVs in Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
Current ice thickness levels are far below past seasonal averages, resulting in weak and unstable ice formations that contribute to extremely hazardous conditions. The public is advised not to venture onto the ice. Never assume the ice is safe, even if others are on it, according to the Coast Guard.
During the winter months, the public is reminded that certain safety precautions should be taken when engaging in recreational activities on or near the ice. Wear proper clothing to prevent hypothermia and choose bright colors to be easily seen by others. Carry proper safety equipment such as a whistle or noise-making device, waterproof VHF-FM radio or Personal Locating Beacon, and ice awls or screwdrivers which can be used in self-rescue should an ice accident occur.