Ice fishing is a popular activity in colder climates, and is a great way for friends in those communities to get together socially. Fishers drill an eight inch hole into the ice, and fish from that position. It’s common to have an ice shanty at the location, which is a shelter made available to the fishers. Ice fishing is relaxing, social and challenging, but it can also be a dangerous activity. Here are three of the biggest hazards to keep in mind when you go out on the ice.
Communication is probably the most critical safety precaution you can take. Having a cell phone available (and fully charged!) is the best way to make sure you can call to get help in case of an emergency. It’s also a good idea to let someone know when you go ice fishing and where you are specifically going; in case your cell phone goes out or is unavailable, it’s good to have someone else checking on you.
Ice fishing is done in very frigid temperatures, so it’s important to dress appropriately. Bring very warm clothes, as it’s better to take off layers than wish you had more. This may sound like a minor detail, but deaths can happen from hypothermia while on the ice, particularly if you fall into the water.
Finally, make sure you wear a piece of clothing that can help you float in case you end up in the water. A standard life vest works, or you can also wear a specialized float coat. Either way, it’s important to make sure you’re not submerged in case you fall into the icy water.