The ice on Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River is weak for this time of year, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, and the public is advised not to go onto the ice.

The Coast Guard says current ice thickness levels are far below past seasonal averages, and that it is currently weak and unstable. The public is advised not to go onto the ice, and should never assume any ice is safe.

Tips for staying safe while outdoors in the winter:

  • Wear the proper clothing to prevent hypothermia
  • Choose bright colors to be easily seen by others
  • Carry proper safety equipment
    • whistle or noise-making device, waterproof VHF-FM radio or Personal Locating Beacon
    • ice awls or screwdrivers which can be used in self-rescue should an accident on ice occur.

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The Coast Guard reports annually there have been multiple accidents due to ice instability in both Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.