Bear Island 

Lake Winnipesaukee


Ice Safety Information from


There is no such thing as 100 percent safe ice!

4" of new clear ice is the minimum thickness for travel on foot.

5" is minimum for snowmobiles and ATVs.

8"- 12" for cars or small trucks.

12"-15" for medium pickup.

Loads on Ice - Army Corps of Engineers

Required Minimum Ice
Thickness in inches
Description of
Safe Moving Load
One person on skies
One person on foot or skates
One snowmobile
A group of people walking single file
A single passenger automobile
A 2-1/2 ton truck
A 3-1/2 ton truck
A 7 to 8 ton truck



What should you do if a companion falls through thin ice?

  1. Keep calm and think out a solution.
  2. Don't run up to the hole. You'll probably break through and then there will be two victims.
  3. Use some item on shore to throw or extend to the victim to pull them out of the water such as jumper cables or skis, or push a boat ahead of you.
  4. If you can't rescue the victim immediately, call 911. It's amazing how many people carry cellphones.
  5. Get medical assistance for the victim. People who are subjected to cold water immersion but seem fine after being rescued can suffer a potentially fatal condition called "after drop" that may occur when cold blood that is pooled in the body's extremities starts to circulate again as the victim starts to re-warm.

What if YOU fall in?

Try not to panic. Instead, remain calm and turn toward the direction you came from. Place your hands and arms on the unbroken surface of the ice (here's where ice picks would come in handy.) Work forward on the ice by kicking your feet. If the ice breaks, maintain your position and slide forward again. Once you are laying on the ice, don't stand. Instead, roll away from the hole. That spreads out your weight until you are on solid ice. This sounds much easier than it is to do in reality.

The best advice is don't put yourself into needless danger by venturing out too soon or too late in the season.





Hit Counter