Emergency responders have issued a warning to residents considering ice fishing on Oneida Lake after three ice rescues in the last 24 hours, which required the assistance of six different fire departments.
As Central New York experiences an unusual winter with higher-than-normal temperatures, officials warn that the dangers of being out on the ice are even greater.
The ice on the lake can appear to be solid, but may actually turn out to be broken pieces that residents can fall through, making even the most experienced ice fishermen vulnerable to danger.
One resident, John Harmon, captured a video of a man who became stuck in the ice after his ATV was partially submerged on Wednesday evening. The Onondaga County Sheriff Department dispatched the Air One helicopter to complete the rescue, but it was unable to land on the thin ice and had to complete the rescue above the water. Fortunately, there was no need for medical attention.
We reached out to several of the fire departments responding to the ice rescues, and their message remains the same. Everyone should be taking precautions before heading out to the lake.
The safest option for everyone, according to officials, is to not assume the ice is safe. If residents do find themselves stuck, they should call 911 immediately.
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