Beware! Lakes approach ice-out

NW dd15 PHOTO for Ice ConditionsBy Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES — Is the lake ice too thin for people to walk on?

It depends on where you walk, according to local public safety personnel.

“We are in typical spring ice conditions. The only thing I can urge is that you are familiar with the place you go,” said Raymond Fire Chief Bruce Tupper.

“We have open thin spots in places,” he said.

“I would tell people to check it (the ice depth and strength) frequently as they go,” he said.

Ice should be at least three inches thick for a group of people to walk on it, according to an Ice Strength Table. If ice is two inches thick, it could support the weight of only one person, the chart said.

Tupper said he just drove by Panther Pond, and that ice is visually changing every few days.

“We are under rapidly-changing conditions, and just be aware of your surroundings,” Tupper said.

Naples Deputy Fire Chief Mark Scribner said he would steer clear of Long Lake.

“We had to go out on the ice this weekend. The penguin had fallen down,” he said, referring to the ice-out buoy set up for the Naples Public Library fundraiser.

“We had to go out. We were in water rescue suits. A short distance we could see water through the ice,” he said.

“I would caution anyone from going out onto the lake, even for a walk. There are definitely some weak spots,” Scribner said.

He said that personally, he does not trust the ice, and would not walk on it without the safety of a wet suit.

“This time of year the ice is incredibly unsafe and very unstable,” he said.

“There might be some thick spots. But, most of it is thinning pretty quickly,” Scribner said.



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