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When enjoying the winter on a Michigan lake or river, the danger exists of falling through the ice. Is the ice thick enough? Thatís a good question.

The US Army states that one person on foot needs two inches of ice, a group walking single file needs three inches of ice, a snowmobile needs three inches of ice, a car (two tons) needs seven inches of ice and a light truck needs eight inches of ice.

A good rule is to always err on the side of caution.

What do you do if you fall through the ice?

First, try not to panic. Control your breathing, fight shock.

Turn back to the direction where you where when you fell in.  The ice was the strongest there.

Donít try to pull yourself up and out.  Kick with your feet and try to get your body horizontal.

When you are out of the ice, do not try to immediately stand up. First roll yourself to thicker ice to keep your weight spread out, then crawl and then walk. This process may help you from breaking through the ice again.

If you cannot get yourself out of the water, try to get as much of your body out of the water as possible. Try to be calm until help arrives. Be prepared and watch this informative video.

If you see or hear someone that has broken through the ice, donít run out on the ice to try to help or you may also fall through the thin ice. Talk them out of the water and throw aid to them. If throwing a rope or a cord, tie a loop at the end you throw to them. Hang on to your end of the rope to help guide them out of the water. Use a ladder or a long pole if available.

Read this article  for more complete information.

Enjoy your winter on a Michigan lake.

Written by Dave.