By Kent Berkley
Petty Officer Michaels of the Sturgeon Bay Coast Guard station says people should take a few prudent steps before participating in ice-based activities. Every year people, snowmobiles and vehicles go through the ice because of false assumptions about ice depth or capabilities. Michaels said it is important to know the minimum ice thickness standards for safe excursions. He stated that the ice thickness should be at least three inches for walking, six inches for snowmobiles, and twelve inches for vehicles. Michaels recommends safety checks and notification steps before heading out to skate, snowmobile or set up a fish shanty.
Petty Officer Michaels indicated that local bait and tackle shops can be a good resource to assess current conditions. He also added that when planning a group excursion it is not a bad idea to share the float plan or safety plan with the Coast Guard as well as with family and friends.