Stay off the partially frozen Barnegat Bay, emergency officials warn

The frozen Barnegat Bay in January 2017. (Image: Harvey Cedars Beach Patrol)

The frozen Barnegat Bay in January 2017. (Image: Harvey Cedars Beach Patrol)

Portions of the Barnegat Bay have frozen over with the recent chill, and that’s worrisome for officials.

“Stay off the ice,” warned the Harvey Cedars Police Department in a tweet. “It’s not as thick as you think.”

The Harvey Cedars Beach Patrol has previously warned that “salt water ice breaks suddenly without cracking/warning sounds and survival is just minutes.”

Seaside Park Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 Chief Mike Tumolo has said that ice is deceiving since it might look and feel safe from the top.

But once you fall in, your life is immediately at risk, he warns.

“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.

The ice isn’t even close to being thick enough for walking.

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. It’s dangerous and unpredictable,” he stressed.

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