Missouri State Highway Patrol encourages ice safety

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COLUMBIA - The Missouri State Highway Patrol advises people involved in water recreation to be safe around the ice.

This winter there has only been one incident related to ice, which happened last weekend. 

On March 1 Missouri State Parks opened for trout fishing season, and in Columbia, Cosmo-Bethel Park is one of the closest stocked trout fishing areas.  

Trooper Andrew Armstrong with the Missouri State Highway Patrol gave advice on how to react if you are in a dangerous cold water situation.

"If you find yourself in the water try to get your arms above the ice, where you fell in, pull yourself up onto the ice. Don't stand back up, but crawl, because your body weight distributed onto the ice is what will keep you above it longer," Armstrong said. 

The Missouri Department of Conservation said one of the most important things to do when out by the water is to wear a life jacket and wear plenty of layers throughout the winter season.

A life jacket is even more important in cold water because hypothermia can make you unable to perform basic tasks.

"Your legs your limbs won't work as well, so it's very important to keep yourself warm and keep the proper clothes on," Armstrong said.

With cold temperatures and warm temperatures being off and on throughout Missouri it makes the stability of the ice difficult to gauge.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol advises you to call the local fire department to rescue another person and not try to rescue them yourself.