Police warn of ice ridges on Great Sacandaga Lake, offer safety tips

EDINBURGH, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office is sending out reminders to ice fishers and snowmobilers to be careful on the ice.

The recent mild weather has been a danger for those who spend time on the Great Sacandaga Lake. Ice ridges have formed in two areas: one in the area of Sunset Bay; the other by Sinclair Point.

Those who explore the lake often know ice ridges happen every year.

Video was posted on Facebook Sunday. It shows an RC plane hovering above Sinclair Point as several people rescued someone who plummeted through the ice while riding their ATV.

“They run the risk of, I guess, plunging through and needing to be rescued if they’re so lucky,” Sacandaga Snowmobile Club Vice President Christopher Waite said.

Waite said he hasn’t been able to enjoy one of his favorite hobbies because he’s waiting for snow and colder temperatures.

“I’m still hoping we get some good snow and to get the trails open,” he said.

But there are others who still take the risk.

“I know that the Department of Environmental Conservation recommends a minimum of four inches to go out ice fishing or to sled,” Waite said.

The sheriff’s office said it’s important to remember the lake is a reservoir, which means the water flow is controlled by the Hudson and Black River. With the water level rising approximately five inches recently, it forms ice ridges.

Experts offer the following tips if you decide to brave thin ice:

  • Slow down, especially at night;
  • Don’t drink and ride as lack of judgment can be deadly;
  • Ensure the ice is thick enough;
  • Don’t ride alone;
  • Have a backup plan if you do fall through the ice.

Police also want people to know the thickness of the ice is not the same throughout the lake. It can vary from spot to spot depending on what Mother Nature brings for the rest of the season.

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