Ice on waterways is not thick enough to walk on, police warn

     The frozen Barnegat Bay as seen from Lavallette during the Jan. 8, 2015 sunset by JSHN contributor Denise Wirth.

    The frozen Barnegat Bay as seen from Lavallette during the Jan. 8, 2015 sunset by JSHN contributor Denise Wirth. "Ice boats soon, I predict!" she said.

    With Arctic air flowing into the region, ice is forming on coastal waterways, potentially tempting some to venture out and explore.

    Don’t do it, authorities warn.

    “As pretty as it is and cool to see, we urge everyone to not walk on it,” a Harvey Cedars Police Department spokesperson tweeted. “The ice is not thick enough to hold any weight.” 

    Seaside Park Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 Chief Mike Tumolo told NewsWorks last year that ice is deceiving. 

    “It may look safe and feel safe from the top but be completely weak,” he said.

    Once you fall in, your life is immediately at risk, Tumolo warned. 

    “The currents under the ice will move you and trap you out of reach from help. The cold water will start shutting down your body in seconds using up your extra oxygen reserves that would normally give you the time to effectively rescue yourself,” the chief said.

    Last winter, Gary Szatkowski, head meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, NJ, said to “not even think about going out on ice” unless it is more than four inches thick. 

    So if you’re thinking about taking a walk out there, consider Tumolo’s advice. 

    “I tell everyone that no matter how serene it looks, how safe it feels, or how cool you think you look walking on the frozen Barnegat Bay, it’s just not worth your life,” he warned. “It’s dangerous and unpredictable.”

    The current NOAA forecast calls for both daytime and nighttime temperatures to rise above freezing beginning Sunday and lasting through at least next Thursday. 

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