Ice Safety Advisory

February Winter Storm 002

Monday, February 16, 2015

Recent cold weather has led to ice formation on many area ponds and canals. The ongoing cold weather will only increase the amount of freezing. Ice-covered waters tend to be very inviting, especially to children. This presents an extremely dangerous situation since the normal ice thickness in the Hampton Roads area will not support the weight of even a small child.  Parents should warn their children not to play on or near the ice. Likewise, all adults should keep watch over waters in their neighborhoods to keep children away.


Experts recommend a minimum clear ice thickness of four inches before permitting ice sports. The Hampton Roads area has not experienced sustained temperatures low enough to create that amount of freezing. In fact, this region is seldom cold enough to cause that much ice formation. 


Common themes in ice-related drowning incidents include:

·                     Children playing on ice

·                     Children slipping on ice-covered banks and falling into water

·                     Adults attempting to rescue children

·                     Adults crossing ice to rescue pets who have fallen through ice


Should you observe a person falling through the ice, call 911 immediately. Do not go onto the ice yourself since you are likely to become a victim. You should try to reach the victim with a rope, rolled blanket, pole or other object until rescue crews arrive.


If you have any questions about ice safety, please contact the Virginia Beach Department of Emergency Medical Services at (757) 385-1999.


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