For Immediate Release Media contact: Susan O’Brien
City of Annapolis Urges Caution on Waterways
(Annapolis, MD 1-3-18) Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley, the Annapolis Fire Department, Annapolis Police Department and Harbormaster are urging residents and visitors to use extreme caution on waterways due to icy and frigid conditions.
“One of the most beautiful things about Annapolis is our connection to its waterways, but these frigid temperatures and icy conditions are extremely hazardous. With many recreation boaters and people who live aboard their boats in our communities, as well as general access to waterways, we want to remind citizens and visitors that it is never safe to walk on frozen waterways and to use extreme caution when accessing boats or navigating waterways.”
Ice can be extremely deceiving and it can be very difficult to assess its thickness. Also, ice thickness can vary from one spot to another in a natural waterway. Residents are urged to stay off the ice. In addition, snow cover can disguise softer spots in the ice and give the false impression of vast areas of frozen water.
If you are boating, follow a safe boating plan and avoid traveling alone. Always wear a life jacket and brightly colored clothing. Life jackets for your pets are also strongly advised. Make sure your method for entering and exiting a boat is clear of ice and safely accessible. Properly ventilate heating systems. If you have any questions regarding safe boating, please contact the Annapolis Harbormaster at 410-263-7973 or Maryland Natural Resources Police.
If you do fall through the ice, remain calm. Do not remove your winter clothing. Heavy clothing will not drag you down and in fact, may trap air to provide warmth and additional floatation. Turn toward the direction you entered the ice from, as that is where the ice will be strongest for potential exiting or rescue.
If someone you are with OR if a pet falls through the ice, DO NOT ATTEMP TO RESCUE by entering the ice. Call 911 immediately. Talk the person and help keep them calm. Look for a nearby floatation device or something that you can throw to the person to help keep them afloat. Only attempt a SHORE or BOAT based rescue.
Keep visual contact with the person. Use landmarks to help emergency responders in locating anyone who becomes submerged.
The City of Annapolis strongly urges citizens to stay off of frozen waterways.