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State officials warn people to be aware, use caution on ice

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Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Authorities in Michigan are warning people to be extremely cautious on frozen bodies of water after six snowmobiles have fallen through ice in less than two weeks.

State Conservation officers in southeastern Michigan are seeing snowmobilers riding into open water and falling through ice, said Sgt. Jason Becker.

In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, officers responded Jan. 22 to reports of a drowning after strong winds created a pressure crack in ice over Lake Michigan.

“Be aware of the ice conditions before you go out,” Becker said. “Do not rely on yesterday’s conditions. Weather changes can rapidly affect the ice in a short amount of time, even if it’s a sudden drop in the temperature.”

People venturing out on the ice should pay close attention to its characteristics, wear insulated snowmobile suits that also can serve as personal flotation devices or carry a flotation device, and carry ice picks, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said.