Despite Ice, Frozen-Over Lakes Remain Unsafe

By Bridgett Lynn
|  Thursday, Jan 30, 2014  |  Updated 9:50 PM EDT
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Despite Ice, Frozen-Over Lakes Remain Unsafe

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Although it looks like Lake Pelham is completely frozen from this bitter winter, Culpeper officials warn that walking on it could be deadly.

Officials said they have noticed foot tracks in the snow on top of frozen Lake Pelham. Some of the tracks extended 100 yards or more onto the 255-acre lake.

If someone were to fall through the ice, they would almost surely die, officials said.

The thickness of the ice on the lake can vary. Changing temperatures impact the thickness of the ice which means the ice could be thicker one place and thinner another.

The closest agency with the proper training and equipment to conduct a rescue on the frozen lake is more than an hour away in Woodbridge, according to Culpeper County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association President Anthony Clatterbuck.

“We would not be conducting a rescue,” said Clatterbuck, “We would be recovering a body.”

Culpeper officials urge parents to monitor their children who may want to play the lake. A 10-year-old boy died earlier in January after falling through the ice at a Gaithersburg pond.

It is also a crime to trespass on town lakes, officials said.

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