Fire Department warns: Do not walk on frozen lakes and ponds - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Fire Department warns: Do not walk on frozen lakes and ponds

By Alex Butler - email

Lubbock, TX (KCBD) - Several lakes and ponds across the South Plains have frozen but they are not safe to walk on. The Fire Department wants to make clear the ice is not thick enough to skate, walk on, or even get close to.  

"They need to stay away from them first of all - you don't know how thick that ice is and it may seem thick but the farther you get out the thinner its going to get," Fire Marshal Garrett Nelson said.

"Its bitterly cold out there and kids might think they're bundled up enough and they can handle it. But if they were to drop through and get wet even if it wasn't deep enough for them to be under the ice, they still need to understand hypothermia can set in very quickly."

Falling into the ice alone could be fatal in a matter of minutes. First you would go into "cold shock," which will generally give the body only 2-5 minutes before you lose the strength or coordination to pull yourself out.

"There's nothing to grab onto to pull yourself out, because there's nothing to push on and so you may be able to pull to the side of the ice but you cant grip on anything," Nelson said.

The fire marshal says if you see anyone trying to walk on the playa lakes make sure to call 911.

"That way police can respond, but also if someone does fall through we would have authorities there very quickly to identify where they fell through the ice so we could perform a rescue."

Copyright 2011 KCBD NewsChannel 11.  All rights reserved

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