Warning to avoid going out onto ice in Oswego

Ice Safety / Viewer Photo

With bitter temperatures and furious winds, it's hard to predict just what you might see on the shores of Lake Ontario. On their first day back from spring break, SUNY Oswego students are seeing these massive snow banks made up of chunks of ice. They are significantly larger with last weeks snow, creating a desire for some to venture onto them.

The Oswego Fire Department tells me it's never safe to go out onto these piles, because pack ice isn't solid like more typical ice. As winter melts into spring a warning not to venture out on the ice.

"You might not know the dangers. You might think there is actual land underneath the snow and it's not, there might be 20 feet of water," says Lt Paul Conzone with the Oswego Fire Department. "You're in cold water, your muscles won't work right. You literally won't be able to grab onto anything."

The fire department says in the past, people have been injured or in rare cases, killed by going onto this pack ice. While rescues have dwindled in recent years, still first responders say it can take just minutes to drown in these icy waters and a rescue would be difficult.

SUNY Oswego says in it's student handbook, the shore of Lake Ontario should be avoided entirely during winter months. This also includes going onto the break wall.

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