Fire department warns ice on lakes may not be as thick as it seems


VISCHER FERRY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Authorities say some may assume rivers and lakes are frozen over because of recent cold weather, but in some spots, underneath an inch or two of ice, is dangerously freezing water.

“It is January. We usually have cold weather, but we’ve had a really long patch of warmer weather,” Patrick Canale, Assistant Chief at the Vischer Ferry Fire Company told NEWS10 ABC. “A lot of rain and things like that where you’re not getting ice to build up on the open waters.”

Canale says, depending on the body of water, the department usually performs one water rescue per year as a result of someone falling through ice.

The department is equipped with various rafts designed to slide on ice as well as suits that rescuers can wear in the freezing water when retrieving a victim.

Although the department is equipped for the worst case rescue scenario, they say the best thing the public can do is avoid dangerously thin ice before an accident can happen.

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation has safety recommendations as well as regulations for ice fishing on their website.

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