July 24, 2014

Take precautions on the lakes

People are beginning to venture onto the frozen waters of lakes in the Madison area, and the Dane County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind them that the ice can be very unpredictable and is never considered completely safe.

The sheriff’s department is advising those that do go out on the ice that proper safety equipment is essential. A life jacket or flotation suit, ice picks and a rope are recommended. Before venturing out out on the ice, let someone know where you will be and when you will return. Extra caution should be used on ice near bridges and trestles – those structures conduct heat into the water and ice near these areas will be more dangerous. This is also true for areas where there is a current running through the water. Be aware of ice covered with snow. Sometimes the snow serves as insulation. Other times, it has the opposite effect by insulating the surface from freezing.

Snowmobiles or ATVs must be equipped with the proper flotation equipment.