MASS. – Whether you're new to the northern climate, or just out of practice, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation wants to remind everyone to use caution on ice.
Here are the recommended safety tips:
-Never go onto the ice alone.
-Always keep your pet on a leash. If a pet falls through the ice, do not attempt to rescue – go for help.
-Beware of ice covered with snow. Snow can insulate ice and keep it strong, but it can also insulate ice and keep it from freezing. Snow can also hide cracks as well as weak and open ice.
-Ice formed over flowing water (including springs under the surface) is generally weaker than ice over still water.
-Ice seldom freezes or thaws at a uniform rate. It can be a foot thick in one spot or an inch thick in another.
-If a companion falls through the ice and you are unable to reach them from the shore, throw something to them (a rope, tree branch, even jumper cables from a car, etc.). If this doesn't work, go or phone for help before you also become a victim. Get medical assistance for the victim immediately.
-If you fall in, try not to panic. Turn toward the direction you came from. Place your hands and arms on the unbroken surface, working forward by kicking your feet. Once the ice is solid enough to hold you, and you can pull yourself out, remain lying on the ice (do not stand; lying down spreads your weight across a wider area, lessening the weight on any one spot) and roll away from the hole. Crawl back the way you came, keeping your weight distributed, until you return to solid ice or ground.