To avoid falling in, watch the ice when walking on Red Cedar River
Footprints can often be seen in the snow of the iced-over Red Cedar River. Whether going on the ice for the experience, or using it for a game of ice hockey, students seem to trek onto the river every winter.
Lt. Cam Howie, of the East Lansing Police Department, said that they don’t recommend any student to get on the ice because river ice tends to be weaker, since it is over a flowing body of water.
If you are going to go out on the ice, as junior packaging major Dan Thomas does, the police and fire department have some safety tips.
Howie said to test the ice before going on it, anywhere between four to six inches of ice is a safe amount to walk on the river.
This is also a safe amount to play ice hockey, which Thomas and his friends play during the colder periods of winter.
“Just bought some cheap skates this year, and a stick and pucks, and that’s a perfect set up out on the river,” Thomas said.
Thomas said the weather has to be right, but he enjoys playing hockey with a lot of other people.
“Usually it’ll just be me and my roommate and my buddies out there, then more people see you playing, and then it’s just a…domino effect,” Thomas said.
Thomas said that the coolest place to play is right under the bridge at Bessey.
“It’s actually really good ice because snow doesn’t get to it and people don’t really go under there,” Thomas said.
Lt. Randy Holton, of the MSU Police Department, said that there are no restrictions about going onto the ice, but it is not recommended.
Holton said that ice covered with snow tends to be weaker than clear ice.
“If it’s clear ice that has a bluish tint, it’s the strongest,” Holton said.
Holton said don’t go on the ice if there is any standing water, cracks, or discoloration in the ice.
“If it’s slushy, you shouldn’t be going out there,” Holton said.
Howie said to always tell someone that you’re going out onto the ice.
You never want to venture out by yourself, according to Holton.
“Know the conditions that are out there before you transit out onto the ice,” Howie said.
These tips are to ensure no one falls through the ice, but , if you do fall through the ice, there are ways you can “rescue yourself”, Howie said.
“First thing they want to do is try to stay calm,” Howie said. He said to try to lift yourself up onto the ice and, if you get yourself out of the water, to roll to safety.
Howie said to wear extra thermal clothing as a safety precaution, in case of falling through the ice; Holton recommends wearing bright clothing.