Ice frozen.

Frozen Ice Panic in Central Park

In a terrifying tale that turned out well, seven teens plunged through the frozen ice of a Central Park pond last Tuesday, but were saved thanks to the quick-thinking of some Good Samaritans. It’s all caught on tape- the gaggle of teens crusading dangerously, from the safety of solid ground, out across the pond’s icy surface. Smart phones in-hand, the teens posed for dramatic “selfies.” Then, a distressing creak and the crackle of fissures in ice: the preamble to calamity. Suddenly, the ice gave away and the teens fell into the freezing pondwater beneath them.
The outside temperature at the time was in the low 40s, and the water was correspondingly arctic. The situation was dire.
The group of teens were all between 15 and 16 years old. Seeing the incident take place, a trio of bystanders took fast action, diving in to the rescue. Due to the heroic deeds of these brave park-goers, all of the teens survived the ordeal, suffering only from mild hypothermia. We can only hope that, in the process, they also learned a valuable lesson: that it’s dangerous to stand or play around on ice unless the thickness is deemed safe by an authorized body.
Since 2014, 30 people have died taking selfies. Some have drowned, some have fallen from heights- but the commonality in these accidents is that the victims in question paid more attention to the photo-op than to the potential hazards of their environment. Combine this modern peril of selfie-taking with the tale-as-old-as-time danger of plunging through frozen ice, and you’ve got a highly unsafe scenario on your hands.
In this article, we’ll take a look at ways to stay safe while partaking in both of these wildly disparate activities.

 

When It’s Safe to Walk on Ice

  • The first thing that everyone should know is that walking on frozen ice is never 100% safe. Even those who know the conditions best may err when diagnosing frozen ice safety, and unforeseen conditions can shift a safe walking situation into a dangerous one at a moment’s notice. Always proceed with caution when walking across ice.
  • Look for small fissures, breaks, or holes in the ice. Also look for running water in, under or around the frozen ice. These are signs of ice weakness.
  • Here is a brief but useful color guide to ice safety:
    • Light gray to black ice is too risky to cross; this color indicates weak ice density. This is the highest-risk ice color. Do not walk on this ice.
    • A white to opaque color may indicate that snow has frozen above ice, and air pockets will weaken the total strength of the ice in question. Do not walk on this ice.
    • Blue to clear. This is the strongest, most durable ice color and thus is the safest to traverse. However, be sure not to walk on ice that is less than 4 inches thick
    • Here’s an old rhyme used by those in-the-know to help remember ice safety: “Thick and blue, tried and true; thin and crispy, way too risky.”
    • Remember, if ice is mottled or slushy, do not take even one step across it. This ice is the most likely to give way. Experts call this “rotten ice.”
  • Cede to expert opinion. Before walking across ice, consult whomever is in charge of deeming conditions safe for the body of water in question.

 

Stay Safe While Taking Selfies

Those over the age of, say, 30 might find the following advice self-evident! However, as evidenced by the story above, many young people are willing to go to high risks in pursuit of the perfect selfie. Here are a few things that will aid in self-preservation as you snap selfies:

  • Stick to the Sidewalks: Don’t take pictures in the middle of the street. In fact, try to stay off your phone / other pieces of electronic equipment entirely while you’re crossing the street.
  • Back Off the Edge: Rooftop pictures and other high-altitude pics often make for great vistas- but be sure to pose a few feet away from banisters, railings or precipices. This way, no one in your party is liable to fall over the edge.
  • Use Your Head: Don’t take unnecessarily risky selfies. Always keep vehicles, trains, bicycles and other swiftly moving elements in mind when staging a selfie. Also, never take pictures while driving!

Kaplan Lawyers PC

As winter comes to an end, and ice everywhere begins to thaw, previously safe ponds and lakes will become perilous to cross. Keep this in mind as you plan outdoor activities- ice skating, pond hockey, etc. Remember, after deep snowfalls, it’s sometimes impossible to tell where terra firma ends and bodies of water begin. In situations such as these, extreme caution must be taken. If you or a loved one has fallen through ice and suffered hypothermia, or have slipped, tripped or fallen on ice and suffered another sort of injury, contact Kaplan Lawyers PC. Our attorneys are experienced in accident law and will help win for you the compensation you deserve. This compensation will keep you and your family financially comfortable as you focus on recuperating from injuries. Not sure what your next step is? Contact Kaplan Lawyers PC. Our consultations are a free and easy way to get started.