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Law enforcement warns of dangers on the ice

Posted at 7:36 AM, Dec 19, 2018

MASON, Mich. — With the relatively warm weather we have right now, police are warning people to stay off the ice.

Right now, the ice can be deceiving and dangerous, they say.

Earlier this month, a woman near Grand Rapids died after she ran after her dog onto a pond and fell through the ice.

Police want to make sure that does not happen again.

Police say it's hard to tell how thick ice is. It might seem thick near the shore but thinner near the center and you could fall in.

"You just never know and when it does happen, sometimes it's too late," said Ingham County Deputy Robert McElmurray.

People who go out onto the ice and fall in can experience hypothermia.

"It happens 10 times faster in the water than in the air. So people lose control of their muscles and lose their dexterity and they can't function," said McElmurray.

He said when people don't know what to do, they panic.

"They actually lose all their air or anything that is in their clothing and so they are not floating anymore, so they are going to drown actually quicker," McElmurray said.

He said people should always have a plan and a buddy with them in case they fall in.

"Call 911 immediately. Try to throw something to the person if you see somebody go in the water, whether it is a rope or a flotation device or a pole to try to reach them," said McElmurray.

He says you shouldn't go on the ice and try to save them.

"The last thing we want is to have a second victim."

The ice should be at least 4 inches thick for it to be safe to walk on.

If you're not sure, stay on the shore.