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Ice Safety Tips from Ohio DNR

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No Funny Title- Just the Facts.

COLUMBUS, OH – Ohioans are reminded to use extreme caution during winter while venturing onto frozen waterways and to be prepared to handle an emergency should someone fall through the ice, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

As some of the lowest temperatures of the season arrive, some people may be tempted to venture out onto the ice and should be aware of basic safety tips, including being prepared for an emergency. ODNR offers these ice safety tips; additional tips can be found online at www.ohiodnr.com and through various other Internet web resources.

Ice Safety Tips:

  • Always remember that ice-covered water is never completely safe.
  • Anyone new to ice fishing, or interested in learning how to safely ice fish, should seek out a licensed ice-fishing guide. A list of certified guides is available at www.wildohio.com or by calling the ODNR Division of Wildlife, Sandusky office at (419) 625-8062. Ask at local bait shops about known areas of thin or dangerous ice.
  • Always go out with friends, letting others know when you will be on the ice and when you will return. Whenever possible, wrap a mobile phone in a plastic bag and take it with you.
  • Wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket or float coat. Life vests provide excellent flotation and protection from hypothermia.
  • Use safe alternatives to local streams or lakes for skating or sledding. Check with your local, state or metro park district to see where conditions are suitable for skating. Some state parks, including Delaware State Park in Delaware County and Dillon State Park in Muskingum County, offer free access to designated ice-skating areas.
  • Understand wind chill factors are relative temperature guides. Although a thermometer may read 40 degrees, a wind speed of 20 miles per hour can cause a body to lose heat as if the temperature was actually 18 degrees.
  • Carry two ice picks, screwdrivers or large nails to create leverage for pulling yourself out of the water. They are much more effective than bare hands. Also, carry a whistle or other noisemaker to alert people that you are in distress.
  • Dress in layers and add extra clothing for the head, neck, sides and groin, which are the primary heat-loss areas. Wool and modern synthetics are good fabric choices for clothing; cotton is slow to dry when wet.
  • Keep an extra set of clothes in your car in case you need dry clothing.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages. In addition to reducing reaction times, alcohol lowers your internal temperature and increases your chance of suffering hypothermia.
  • Never drive a vehicle, snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle onto ice. Leave this to professional guides. This is extremely dangerous and most insurance policies will not cover the vehicles of ice fishermen that have dropped through the ice.

The ODNR Division of Watercraft administers Ohio’s boating programs. The agency oversees watercraft registration and titling operations, provides funding to local communities for education, enforcement and boating access facilities, educates the public, and enforces boating laws on Ohio’s waterways. More information may be found online at www.ohiodnr/com/watercraft or by following the Division of Watercraft on Facebook or Twitter.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR web site at www.ohiodnr.com.

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National Safe Boating Week: Ohio Events

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COLUMBUS, OH – As Ohioans prepare for the summer boating season, which traditionally begins Memorial Day weekend, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is reminding all recreational boaters of the importance in properly wearing an approved life jacket or vest while boating.

“Four people died this year in boating-related accidents—none of them were wearing a life jacket,” said Pamela Dillon, chief, ODNR Division of Watercraft. “We believe that a good boating experience is a safe one and boating safety begins with the choices boaters make before leaving the dock, such as wearing an approved life jacket.”

In observance of National Safe Boating Week, which runs May 22-28, the Division of Watercraft kicks off its third “ Wear It Ohio!” summer life jacket awareness campaign at Alum Creek, East Fork, Caesar Creek Lake and Portage Lakes state parks. The campaign includes special promotional events at each of the four lakes, from May 22 through July 25, focusing on a life jacket loaner program. Eligible participants may qualify to receive, on loan, free use of a new U.S. Coast Guard approved inflatable life vest during the 2010 boating season.

In addition, state and local marine patrol officers will conduct free vessel safety inspections this weekend at various public boat launch ramps statewide. The free courtesy inspections are offered  to ensure that boaters have the required safety equipment on board their boats and that it is in good working condition.

As National Safe Boating Week concludes during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, the Division of Watercraft will launch its statewide boating safety awareness public service message campaign to remind boaters of the importance of wearing a life jacket and staying sober while boating. Boating safety messages will be broadcast each weekend during the summer on more than 40 radio stations and several cable TV systems.

“We have seen a 33 percent decline in boating-related fatalities on Ohio waterways over the past decade as more boaters become aware of the importance of boating safety,” said Chief Dillon.

A complete listing of “Wear It Ohio!” events, as well as information on boating safety programs, tips and where to enjoy boating, may be found atwww.ohiodnr.com/watercraft.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at www.ohiodnr.com

(Editor’s Note – A complete listing of Wear It Ohio! events follows below.)

Alum Creek Lake State ParkDelaware County

  • May 22, Hollenback Ramp, 11am-3pm
  • May 30, New Galena Ramp, 11am-3pm
  • June 20, Cheshire Ramp, 11am-3pm
  • June 26, Hollenback Ramp, 11am-3pm
  • July 10, New Galena Ramp, 11am-3pm
  • July 24, Cheshire Ramp, 11am-3pm

Caesar Creek State ParkWarren County

  • May 22, Wellman Meadow Ramp, 9am–1pm
  • May 30, North Pool Ramp, 9am–1pm
  • June 6, Furnas Shores Ramp, Noon-4pm
  • June 19, “Beach/Lake Fest” at the Beach, Noon–4pm
  • July 17, Wellman Meadow Ramp, 10am-2pm
  • July 25, North Pool Ramp, 10am-2pm

East Fork LakeClermont County

  • May 22, Tate Ramp,11am-3pm
  • May 23, Tate Ramp, 11am-3pm
  • June 12, Tate Ramp, 11am-3pm
  • June 13, Tate Ramp, 11am-3pm
  • July 10, Tate Ramp, 11am-3pm
  • July 11, Tate Ramp, 11am-3pm

Portage Lakes State ParkSummit County

  • May 22, Manchester Road Ramp, 10am-2pm
  • June 5, State Park Drive Ramp, 10am-2pm
  • June 13, State Park Drive Ramp, 10am-2pm
  • June 27, Manchester Road Ramp, 10am-2pm
  • July 10, On the water from a pontoon boat, 1-5pm
  • July 11, Demo Day on the Beach, Noon-4pm– Try out different types of powerboats, PWC, canoes and kayaks. Pontoon boat rides also available.
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