The Effingham County Dive Rescue Team is urging residents to be safe around icy ponds and rivers this winter. Frozen bodies of water should be checked by a trained individual before anyone attempts to go out on the surface. For reference only:
- For one person to walk on ice it takes at least 2″ of clear ice to be safe.
- For a group walking or one person fishing, there should be at least 4″ of clear ice.
- 5″ are required for a snowmobile.
- 8″ are required for a car.
- 10-12″ are required for a light truck.
Additionally, ice on rivers is significantly weaker than pond or lake ice. The Dive Rescue Team also reminds residents not to chase after pets if they go out on untested ice. Many people are killed each year after wandering out on ice after their pets. If someone does fall though the ice, call 911. You can assist the victim by throwing out a rope or float to help keep them above water until help arrives, but stay off the ice. Always check areas of ice with pilot holes before attempting to cross.