Do not step on the ice yet in Latvia, authorities warn

Take note – story published 1 year and 5 months ago

The snow-covered ice does not allow ice fishers to determine objectively the thickness of it, and although many reckless enthusiasts are already on the water bodies, rescuers and seasoned ice fishers recommend that they wait. One ice fisherman has already died this season, Latvian Radio reported on December 9.

“This year the ice just appeared and was immediately covered by the snow layer,” said Edgars Timoškāns from Rēzekne, who is a passionate fisherman but has not yet climbed on the ice this year and has several reasons for that.

“At the moment, it's quite dangerous to climb on the ice, because we see that we don't really know what is under that layer of snow. The ice starts to dry and we don't see its thickness. Therefore, until it has been two or three days with harsh frost, some minus ten degrees, the ice should not be stepped on,” Timoškāns said.

The fact that ice on water bodies is still not safe is also confirmed by a tragic event in Krāslava, where the first fisherman has died this year.

 Ilze Dāme-Birziņa, a spokeswoman for the State Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD), said: “It was Sunday when firefighters received a call to the municipality of Krāslava, where a man was on the ice of a water body and about 100 meters from the coast had fallen through. Using rescue boards, rescuers took the man ashore, and medics pronounced him dead.”

The ice fishing season is just beginning, so Dāme-Birziņa said that people who have decided to go on the ice should take into account that it is not uniform. The ice is thicker at the shores, but there may be more thinning in the middle of the water body.

“We also call on residents to be responsible and don't walk past if they see young people sliding on the treacherous ice, alert them to the hazards. On the other hand, if you notice that people have gone too far off the coast, or if a person has fallen through the ice, call 112 immediately. We also call on the animal owners to be careful and to make sure that dogs do not go to the ice of water bodies, for example,” Dāme-Birziņa noted.


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