When ice fishing or snowmobiling on a lake you should have 2 ice picks or they are sometimes called ice claws with you at all times. Ice varies from area to area on a lake. It is never the same thickness. Temperature, underwater springs and water currents can affect the thickness and stability of the ice. Stay off the ice if it is covered in snow or slush on top. Snow on top of the ice insulates the ice and slows its freezing. If there is slush it means that the ice is no longer freezing from the bottom. It is never a good idea to take a car or truck out on the ice. If you are headed out on the ice with a group remember to spread out and avoid standing all in one area. DNR suggest that you wear a life jacket, brightly colored clothing and carry a cell phone when out on the ice. Always tell someone when you are out on the ice.
The DNR has come up with tips about how to handle falling through the ice.
Try to remain calm
DO NOT remove your heavy clothing. It traps air to provide both warmth and buoyancy. Always head back the way you came. This is the thickest ice.
Stick your ice picks in the ice and kick your feet while sliding across the ice.
Always roll away from the thin ice.
Call 911 and get to a shelter as soon as possible.
Never drink alcohol or caffeine after falling in the water.
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