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January 27, 2017




January 26, 2017 – Following the death of an ice fisherman who fell through thin ice on Lake Willoughby Thursday morning, and several recent ice water rescues, the Vermont State Police, Vermont Fish & Wildlife, and first responders across the State of Vermont would like to remind all who venture on or near open water ice this winter to be extremely cautious and prepared for variable ice conditions.

Last evening on Lake Memphremagog another ice water rescue was required when a truck became stuck, requiring a multi-agency response to rescue the driver from the vehicle as it was slowly breaking through the ice.  We hope to remind Vermonters who partake in this Vermont past-time and tradition, to check ice conditions before they venture out.

Here are some safety suggestions:

<![if !supportLists]>·        <![endif]>Always keep your pets on a leash if walking near a partially frozen waterway.  If a pet falls through the ice do not attempt to rescue your pet, go for help.

<![if !supportLists]>·        <![endif]>Reach-Throw-Go.  If a companion falls through the ice and you are unable to reach that person from shore, throw them something (rope, jumper cables, tree branch, etc.). If this does not work, go for help before you also become a victim. Get medical assistance for the victim immediately.

<![if !supportLists]>·        <![endif]>If you fall in, try not to panic. Turn toward the direction from which you came.  Place your hands and arms on the unbroken surface, working forward by kicking your feet.  Once out, remain lying on the ice (do not stand) and roll away from the hole. Crawl back to your tracks, keeping your weight distributed until you return to solid ice.

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department notes that thousands of Vermonters take to the ice for this sport safely every winter, but also cautions that anglers should never drive on the ice or venture out on foot without checking ice conditions first.
Much of the state has good opportunities for ice fishing, but careful preparation and scouting should be practiced throughout the ice fishing season. No ice should ever be considered completely safe without checking as ice changes with unseasonably warm temperatures and rain.
Tips on safe ice fishing can be found on the fish and wildlife website or at .
Resources for weather and other notifications:

Vermont Alert:
NWS Burlington: on Facebook or @NWSBurlington on Twitter
NWS Albany: on Facebook or @NWSAlbany on Twitter
VT DEMHS on Twitter: @vemvt …
Vermont State Police on Twitter: @VTStatePolice …
Vermont State Police on Facebook:

National Weather Service Albany (Forecast office for Bennington and Windham counties):
National Weather Service Burlington (Rest of Vermont):

For more information please contact:

Colonel Jason M. Batchelder, Chief Warden
Vermont Dept. of Fish and Wildlife

Scott Waterman
Vermont State Police Public Information Officer
802-241-5277 desk
802-279-4554 cell