Officials say ponds, lakes aren't ready for winter activities - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Officials say ponds, lakes aren't ready for winter activities

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Officials say ponds, lakes aren't ready for winter activities (WFSB) Officials say ponds, lakes aren't ready for winter activities (WFSB)
MIDDLEFIELD, CT (WFSB) -

As the temperatures drop, more and more people are looking to have fun on frozen ponds and lakes.

However, in the last week, five people in Connecticut have fallen through thin ice and into frigid water.

While there are signs posted near ponds and lakes telling people to skate at their own risk, firefighters said they are warning that it is not a safe bet right now.

Firefighters from Middletown’s South Fire District participated in a drill on Crystal Lake on Monday afternoon, training for when someone needs to be rescued after falling through ice.

“Every fire department spends a lot of time preparing and maintaining a constant state of readiness for something that really, at the end of the day, we hope doesn't happen,” said South Fire District Chief Rob Ross.

Even though temperatures are dropping, Ross said the ice really isn’t ready yet because it hasn’t been cold enough.

On Saturday, rescuers in Southington saved a teenage girl who fell through ice on a pond that she was trying to cross.

On Tuesday, an 18-year-old woman died after a car she was traveling in sank into a pond at Bigelow Hollow State Park in Union.

“If they get into the water they have a minimal amount of time before hypothermia starts to set in, and that’s where we get really concerned,” Ross said.

Ross said people shouldn’t go out onto the ice until it is at least four inches thick. Also, go with a friend and have a plan and tools in case something goes wrong.

The safest play is to let professionals make the decision.

“Check with your park and recreation departments,” Ross said.

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