Thin ice is a dangerous thing for anyone to encounter. What makes it more difficult is that it is extremely difficult to determine the strength of ice, particularly for untrained individuals. In order for ice to be safe for a human being to walk across it, it must be a minimum of 6 inches thick across the entire surface. In order for ice to reach this thickness, the air temperature must be well below freezing for weeks at a time.
Once ice is frozen, it is difficult to determine how strong it is. The strength is affected by the depth of the water, the size of the body of water, the chemistry of the water, weight distribution on the ice, and local climate factors. The depth of the water and size of the body of water are important because they help to determine how long it will take for the water temperature to reach freezing and then fall below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The weight that is being distributed across the ice is important as well. Ice may be strong enough to support 50 pounds on it but not 150. As you can see, the wide variety of variables affecting ice strength and thickness make it difficult to determine the strength of ice.
If an individual does find him or herself in an area with exceedingly thin ice, it is important to be aware of the hazards. When a person falls through the ice it is very important either to get out of the water or to keep their head above water. It does not take much time to drown once an individual’s head goes under.
If you have been injured by falling through thin ice on a snowmobile or cross-country skis, contact the Lake Geneva snowmobile injury lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® at 1-800-275-1729 to discuss your case and to determine your legal options.