BOSTON — With recent warmer temperatures across much of Massachusetts, state officials are warning the public of the dangers associated with walking on ice over bodies of water, including lakes, ponds, reservoirs, streams, and rivers. Public safety and recreation officials from the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), the Massachusetts State Police (MSP), the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife), and the Department of Fire Services (DFS) remind residents and visitors to be conscious of the risks associated with walking on ice, particularly after warm weather, and ask that the public refrain from doing so.
The winter season offers unique outdoor recreational opportunities for the public to enjoy, including ice fishing, ice skating, and snowmobiling; unfortunately, year after year state and local officials receive and respond to reports of individuals falling through thin ice. In a short period of time, an individual who falls into icy waters can experience hypothermia like symptoms, which can become fatal if not treated immediately. Hypothermia symptoms include shivering, dizziness, hunger, nausea, accelerated breathing, difficulty speaking, lack of coordination, fatigue, and an increase in heart rate.
Ice safety tips the public should follow when near bodies of water during the winter months include:
For further information regarding ice and winter safety tips, please visit the DFS and the MassWildlife websites. The Massachusetts State Police reminds individuals to call 911 in the event of an emergency, such as an individual falling through thin ice. Additionally, several state parks and facilities provide outdoor recreational opportunities throughout the winter season, some of which have DCR rangers and/or staff facilitating many programs. Please visit the DCR’s website for details.