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9th District Great Lakes Public Affairs
U.S. Coast Guard

News Release

January 10, 2013


Ninth Coast Guard District

Contact: Ninth Coast Guard District External Affairs Office

Email: D9PublicAffairs@gmail.com

Office: (216) 902-6020

Mobile: (216) 310-2608

Coast Guard warns of unsafe ice conditions due to warm weather

CLEVELAND — The 9th Coast Guard District is issuing a warning Thursday that the unusually warm temperatures observed this year in the Great Lakes region have greatly increased the possibility of weakened ice.

With temperatures forecasted to reach 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit this weekend in some parts of the Great Lakes, ice has become thin and unsafe, which increases the likelihood of people falling through the ice.

With forecasted temperatures reaching 60 degrees Fahrenheit in Cleveland, 57 F in Buffalo, N.Y., 50 F in Chicago and 58 F in Detroit, the Coast Guard cautions the public about venturing out on the ice and reminds all citizens that ice can be dangerous and unpredictable.

"Due to these unseasonably warm temperatures, ice across the Great Lakes is deteriorating quickly, and conditions are becoming inherently unsafe," said Frank Jennings Jr., 9th Coast Guard District Recreational Boating and Water Safety Program manager.

Proper precautions should always be taken before heading out on the water or the ice. When venturing out, a person should think I.C.E. as a precaution:

Intelligence — know the weather and ice conditions, know where you are going, and know how to call for help. Never go out alone.

Clothing — have the proper clothing to prevent hypothermia. Wear a waterproof exposure suit and a life preserver.

Equipment — have the proper equipment. Carry ice picks or screwdrivers, in case you fall in. Use these items to dig into the ice and pull yourself out; they are more effective than bare hands. Carry a whistle or other sound-producing device to alert people that you are in distress. Carry a cellular phone or marine band radio in a waterproof container so that you can call for help if you come across trouble.

Click here for information on the Coast Guard's ice rescue assets.

Click here for a blog on five facts about ice.

Click here for more information on cold water and ice safety.

For more information, contact the 9th Coast Guard District Public Affairs Office at 216-902-6020.

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