Ice still dangerously thin in Finland

In many places ice has just started to form over the past few days. Image: Keijo Salokangas / Yle  Ice cover on sea or lakes needs to be a solid sheet no less than 10 cm thick before it can safely carry the weight of an adult.

At least one rescue operation had to be mounted in Finland over the weekend to save someone who ventured out onto thin ice.

Despite cold temperatures it is too soon to head out onto the ice. Even in the North of the country, the ice cover on lakes is only about 5 cm thick.

“The ice is so thin, that one should not under any circumstances go out onto it for a long time to come,” says Director Tomi Maunu of the Turku Maritime Rescue Centre.

“High winds also weaken the ice even more, so following the storm late last week, ten centimetres of ice isn’t stong enough.”

The Turku Maritime Rescue Centre had patrols out over the weekend in its operations area checking to see if anyone was foolish enough to test the ice. As of Sunday evening, there was no evidence of any incidents.

However, further inland, some people did head out on dangerously weak ice. In Kuopio, a city in central Finland, one person was able to struggle back to solid ground after falling through thin ice.

In Pietarsaari, a town in west Finland, ice gave away under a skier and three dogs. Neighbours were able to keep the four afloat until rescue services arrived to pull them out.

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