Q&A / 

Ice Safety Video

(Jaws music theme playing in the background.) Tim is heading out onto the ice on Lake Winnisquam. He has a phobia about falling through the ice and drown. There are many accidents of that nature every year. So, he wants to be sure about the ice thickness and ice safety.

But first, this was filmed on March 13, 2009. That is Friday the 13th!!! Aside from the fear of Friday the 13th, mid-March is a dangerous time of the year to be out on the ice. As the temperature changes, the ice thickness changes rapidly also.

To check the ice thickness, Tim will venture out onto the ice where he knows the water depth is not over his head. So even if he does fall through, he will be okay - water depth wise. He is hoping that the videographer will help save him. (The camera shakes "No.")

The state of Minnesota has a great web site that provides information regarding ice thickness and safety. For example, 4 inch thick, clear ice is more then enough thickness to walk on safely. Ice 12 inches thick can support a pickup truck.

To check the thickness, find a spot where you are comfortable with the water depth under the ice. Use a cordless drill with a chip auger bit. Tim is using a 16 inch long drill bit, measured from the chuck. Drill your test hole. Tim has drilled down until 5 inches of the chip auger drill bit is still showing. That means that the ice is 11 inches thick near the shore line. However, the thickness of the ice can change in different locations on the lake. Be sure to check different locations and each day.

Be safe. Check the ice and have all the proper equipment in case you happen to fall through.


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