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10 quickies to stay safe on the ice

When living in, or visiting Sweden there are some things you need to know about ice during the winter. Generally there is a lot of ice in the end of the winter and when it’s here most of the Swedes head out to the frozen lakes to skate, have a walk or even take a short swim in a hole in the ice. If you decide to do one or more of these things you also need to know how to stay safe.

The weather in Sweden can be cold, warm, wet,windy and it contributes to an amazingly beautiful enviroment. During the winter when the lakes are frozen, the sun is shining there really is something special about Sweden. You put your skates on and head out with your friends to play ice hockey or go ice fishing but wonderful days on the ice can go terribly wrong if you don’t know how to stay safe.

  1. Never go alone when going out on the ice and keep some distance between you so you can help each other if anything happens.

  2. Bring security equipment on the ice.

  3. Test the ice with an ice pick if you are unsure.

  4. Do not enter or walk on ice if you are not sure if it will hold. Blue ice should be at least 10 centimeters thick.

  5. Remember that new ice, spring ice, snow-covered ice and salt water ice can be very weak.

  6. Learn where the ice’s weak spots are. For example: bridges, piers, outlets and inlets, also channels.

  7. The higher your speed, the further you will get on weak ice before it breaks and the rescue will be more difficult.

  8. Bring ”the extended arm”. The extended arm means that you should always have something between yourself and the person in distress. For example a towel, a rope, a scarf or anything you have available that extends your own arm to keep yourself on a safe distance from the person in distress.

  9. Never leave children by themselves near or on the ice.

  10. Always inform someone where you are going and when you will be back.

/ Amanda Ankarhem Skribent och fotograf

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