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Never assume the ice is safe.
The only safe ice is at an ice rink.
Never skate on an untested lake or pond.
The ice should have a minimum of at least  inches.
Never skate alone.
Only skate during the day or if an area is illuminated
Know the body of water, nearby street, and where the nearest
location is to go for help.
Never use ice for a shortcut.
Never go out onto the ice after an animal or toy.
With respect to the ice strength, a point of great importance to
skaters and others is that you [ cannot tell the strength of the
ice simply by its looks and thickness, the daily temperature, or
whether or not the ice is covered with snow. The strength of ice
is determined by several factors:
Chemistry of the water
[Salt or Fresh].
Local climatic factors such as wind, snow , rain, and
temperature fluctuations which can vary considerably
from day to day.
The presence of currents such as at stream inflows /
outflows, and along streams or rivers.
The presence of springs and the size and depth of the
lake or pond.
The distribution of the weight or load placed on the
The signs of expansion cracks.
What to do when someone has fallen through the ice:
For immediate response – call 911
Do not attempt to rescue the victim. If the ice could not
support their weight, it will not support your weight.
Try to calm and reassure the victim and have them stay afloat.
Go to nearby location and call 911 for help. Also wait for
emergency responders to bring them to the exact location of the
If with a responsible adult, have the adult return to try and
assist the victim from shore.
First, is to provide victim with something to help them stay
afloat such as plastic milk or soda bottles, or a spare tire.
If the victim is stable and afloat try to send something to
reach and retrieve victim such as a rope, extension cord,
ladder, branch, boat or tying clothes together.
If victim is retrieved to shore, take steps to keep victim warm
[ change clothes, wrap in blanket ] until rescue personnel
It takes at least 5 to 7 days of temperatures in the low 20’s
before ice may become safe.
The Town of Westborough DOES NOT monitor
ice thickness. Use ice at your own risk.
Thanks to Rhode Island DIVISION of PARKS & RECREATION for
the above information.