There have been two deaths and one rescue on the Saginaw Bay ice in the Upper Thumb these past several weeks. We found a short video that describes the steps to survive an ice break though even if you can’t get yourself out of the water. It’s a fight for survival and one only has minutes before hypothermia, unconsciousness and death.
Ice Safety Guidelines
The Minnesota DNR provides the following guidelines.
For new, clear ice only
- Under 4″ – STAY OFF
- 4″ – Ice fishing or other activities on foot
- 5″ – 7″ – Snowmobile or ATV
- 8″ – 12″ – Car or small pickup
- 12″ – 15″ – Medium truck
Many factors other than thickness can cause ice to be unsafe. Currents from nearby rivers or debris in the ice can create thin areas.White ice or “snow ice” is only about half as strong as new clear ice. Double the above thickness guidelines when traveling on white ice.