Ed Rotert, training officer for the Mount Ayr and Midwest Regional Dive Team, says this is a particularly bad time to be risking your life by walking onto a frozen lake or pond.
“Right now, the ice looks thick but it’s rotted ice,” Rotert says. “We were breaking ice out there that was close to 4″ thick and it wouldn’t even hold us up.” Forecasters call for high temperatures across parts of southern Iowa on Sunday in the low 40s. Rotert says the ice -may- be thick enough to be considered safe in some areas of Iowa, but certainly not all of them.
“It’ll be different, lake to lake, depending on the size of the lake and whether it’s spring-fed or not,” he says. “Right now, with the warm weather we’ve been having, I would suggest nobody goes out on the ice.” Should you decide to venture onto the ice, Rotert suggests you bring along a couple of ice picks, so if you do fall in, you can use the picks to pull yourself up and out.
“Ice fishermen can buy floatation coveralls,” he says. “Most importantly, if you’re going to walk out on the ice, take a one-inch pole, closet rod, anything like that, and as you walk, slam it into the ice. If it breaks through or fractures and starts to go through the ice, that ice is completely unsafe.”
Another tip, he says the darker the ice appears, the more thin it is likely to be. The bodies of the father and son were recovered at Little River Lake on Sunday after several hours of searching. Sixty-three-year-old David Adair and 33-year-old Joe Adair were both from Missouri. They were about 200 feet from the shore when the ice broke.
(Reporting by Jordan Armstrong, KSIB, Creston)