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Watch Out for Thin Ice! – Happy Angler's Tips for Moving Safely on Ice

Many Finns remember a public service film titled On Thin Ice, which was presented as part of a popular children’s TV show. The film showed a bear trying to cross a frozen pond and ending up in the water as the ice failed. Luckily, the bear is rescued with the help of a friend, and the pair quickly retreats to a cabin to warm up.

At Happy Angler, we want to ensure that people avoid walking on thin ice. The most important piece of safety equipment for moving on ice is good sense!

Before you step onto ice, think twice whether it is strong enough. Are you with a friend who is carrying a throw line and do you have a pair of ice awls on you in case the ice breaks? 

When moving on ice, check the thickness of the ice regularly using your ice auger or ice awls. Ice can be deceptive. For example, an underwater spring may reduce the thickness of ice even in the middle of winter. Similarly, ice can be weakened by ridges and rocks and the resulting jets.

You should be particularly careful around straits and other areas where the water keeps flowing throughout the year, such as rivers, brooks, and ditches. Narrows can also be quite treacherous!

What to do if the ice below you fails?

  1. Stay calm; panicking will only make it harder to get out.
  2. Yell for help!
  3. Turn back toward the way you came and break the thin ice in front of you.
  4. Lift yourself into a horizontal position by kicking the water and push yourself onto the ice. Ice awls will make getting back onto the ice much easier!
  5. Roll or crawl away from where you fell through the ice toward the direction you came from.
  6. Get yourself to a warm place as fast as you can.

 When moving on ice, you also run the risk of slipping or falling. With anti-slip devices on your shoes, you can walk on ice without slipping. Explore our range of anti-slip devices here.

The Happy Angler online store also offers everything else you might need for winter fishing.

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