POTOMAC, Md. (WDVM) — Montgomery County wants to bring awareness to residents to avoid skating on lakes, ponds, and other bodies of water as many residents are injured from falling into ice every year.

As temperatures are below freezing, so is this pond here behind me. So many people might be tempted to go out there and treat it as an ice rink, but Montgomery County warns of the dangers.

Most of the time, that ice is unstable with fluctuating temperatures. That’s why first responders are saying no natural ice is safe. Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Captain, Joe Bell said, “Our recommendation is to always stay off the ice because you just don’t know the dangers and if it will support your weight.”

Crews went out to a pond in a Potomac neighborhood off River Road. They took turns pulling each other out using a rope. If you happen to fall into an icy body of water, Capt. Bell says, “Try to calm yourself. Get your head above water and the ice will float, so try to hang on to a piece of the ice that’s big enough to hold you so you can get your head above the water.”

And if you see someone in danger, don’t become a victim yourself. Do not go out on the ice. Of course, call ‘911’ then try to safely throw out a branch or pole to get them support. Temperatures are only in the mid-20s and the ice here is only about 3 inches thick, so you can only imagine what could happen if that ice gives. 

It may look fun, but if you really have the urge to go out and skate, there are plenty of rinks in the area including:

  • Silver Spring Ice Skating Rink – Downtown Silver Spring
  • Cabin John Ice Rink
  • Wheaton Ice Arena
  • Rockville Town Square Outdoor Ice Skating