LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Although this Michigan winter has been mild compared to last year, ice is still an issue. As lakes ice over with temperatures hovering right around freezing, one wrong step may cause a ton of problems.
It’s winter and people in Michigan love their outdoor sports, even when it’s cold. Today, several agencies including the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office, Eaton County Sheriff’s Office, Lansing Police Department, and Bath Township came together to be here for you in case things take a turn for the worse on the ice waters.
Ingham County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Bob McElmurray said, “There’s a huge importance in it because you know people don’t know how thick the ice is. So, they’ll venture out on the ice and then they have problems where they go in and just don’t know what to do and can’t get out. So, we’re called in to save their lives.”
When someone doesn’t listen and goes in to the water, how do these trained dive team members help that ill-advised plunge?
“There’s a victim out there and we’re sending a rescuer out there. They circle around the back of the victim. They go in, they rope around ’em and the crew that’s on the shore pull both the victim and rescuer out of the water,” said Deputy McElmurray.
The members who take part in saving lives, in their words, believe it is who they are as a person.
Lansing Police Officer Michael Van Beek says, “I was a long-time lifeguard. I thought it would be a good chance to learn some different water safety skills to help out the citizens of Lansing.”
It only takes one inch of ice for a victim to fall into the icy depths of a body of water. These local deputies advise much needed safety.
According to Deputy McElmurray, “next thing you know, they do go in. Now you’re in an emergency situation and they panc and they don’t know what to do.”
Best advice from deputies…stay safe, stay warm.
According to the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office, the ice should should be at least four inches thick before it’s considered safe to walk on. They caution, it’s hard for people to determine how thick ice really is. Either way, if you are in an emergency, emergency responders recommend staying calm.