Coast Guard Auxiliary to promote ice safety this winter

Coast Guard auxiliarists will promote ice safety this year
Coast Guard auxiliarists will promote ice safety this year(kbjr)
Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 4:19 PM CST
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ice safety will be stressed by USCG AUX
ice safety will be stressed by USCG AUX(kbjr)

DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - Whether your ice fishing throne is a tipped over bucket or one of those five-star hotels with retractable wheels, the siren song of the ice calls many people to our frozen lakes. But winter ice is never truly safe and our heavy snow is making ice conditions a little iffy according to many of our region’s bait shops.

“We were looking really good to have some good ice but then we got dumped on with all that record snow fall which created some slush.” said Matt King who owns Fisherman’s Corner in Pike Lake.

Slush is just one of many possible hazards so the Auxiliary Flotillas of the Coast Guard’s 9th District which covers the Great Lakes are stressing ice safety education in 2023.

The acronym is ICE and the I means information like keeping up with the forecast and filing an ice plan with a friend before going out.

“Just like you would file a float plan on a boat, this would list your information of who you are, where you live, your phone number and someone to leave this with to get in touch with the Coast Guard in case something happens.” said Steve Daniel, commander of Coast Guard Auxiliary Division 30 which covers northern Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The C stands for clothing and the most important thing to wear is something that will float if the ice breaks. A full body suit is best but there are other options.

“At the very minimum, have a float coat or at least a life preserver you can put on over your jacket.” said Daniel.

The E stands for equipment. Have communication gear like a cell phone or marine radio and carry self-rescue gear like ice picks.

“The way they work is when you jam them into the ice, the protective sleeve goes up and you jam them in the ice and pull yourself forward.” said Daniel.

Practicing ice safety tips now will make them second nature to ice aficionados who know we still have several months for venturing out on the frozen lakes.

“You know we’re going to keep building ice every day even though the temps are only in the teens and 20′s and you’ve got a lot of fishing left.” said King.

In Duluth, Dave Anderson, Northern News Now.

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