(Versailles, Ind.) – Since winter officially began Dec. 17 there have few days where the outdoor temperature has reached above freezing.
Still, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources is warning citizens to heed caution before venturing out onto frozen lakes, streams, or ponds.
“Most of the ponds and lakes in southeastern Indiana are snow covered which has made it difficult to determine the strength of the ice. As the temperatures rise this week the melting snow will help accelerate ice decay,” says DNR Conservation Officer Gary Catron.
Catron says it can be risky to go on ice of any thickness that has water or slush. People attempting to skate or ice fish not only put their lives in danger, but also the lives of emergency personnel.
According to the United States Search and Rescue Task Force, people who fall into freezing cold water can become quickly disoriented as it robs the body of heat 32 times faster than cold air. A person’s extremities become numb to the point of uselessness, unable to grab a rescue line.