First responders warn of dangers of thin ice after multiple rescues – CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — Cold weather has sent many people to frozen lakes and ponds around New England, but first responders are warning of the dangers of thin ice.

Over the weekend, first responders rescued several people who fell through the ice at Spy Pond in Arlington. In Hampstead, New Hampshire on Monday morning, a Salem man sustained a head injury when his ATV ripped through the ice on Wash Pond.

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Equipped with the proper safety gear – Sunday’s rescues on Spy Pond didn’t stop witnesses like Nate Binzen from returning to the ice Monday for pond hockey “There were a lot of people here yesterday and I think some people don’t really know what’s dangerous and what’s not,” Binzen said.

Arlington Police Officer Mike Hogan made the first rescue on Spy Pond on Sunday. “You could see the person was like in the ice, like on the water, standing on the edge of the ice,” Hogan said.

Officer Hogan used a homemade rope to help the man out of the water. Only two hours later he was called back to the same location for another rescue.

“It’s quite unusual. I grew up in this town and I always worry about this pond because it must be very cold for a few weeks before I come out because there are all these springs popping up and it keeps the water moving in below so you can’t really tell if it’s safe or not,” Hogan said.

Despite the dozens on the ice Monday, the message from the officials is clear.

“The city or county will never say it’s safe simply because there are a myriad of factors that could cause thin ice in certain places, so we always preach that the only safe ice is that which is inside a skating rink,” Arlington Firefighter Martin Conroy said.

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WBZ chief meteorologist Eric Fisher says southern New England is on the edge of the deep cold needed to produce thick ice.

“It’s easy to freeze that top layer, it’s harder to build it up over time,” Eric Fisher said. “If you don’t know how deep it is, you have to be very careful.”

(WBZ-TV Chart)

Everyone should stay off ice if it is 2″ or less thick.

For ice fishing you generally want to see 4″ thick ice.

Snowmobiles and ATVs require about 5-6 inches of ice.

For cars and small trucks 8-12″ is recommended.

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Medium trucks and even airplanes can go on ice when there is 12-15″ of ice.

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