Army Corps: Raystown Lake ice might not be safe

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is warning visitors to Raystown Lake to take caution if venturing out onto the ice.

“Sustained freezing temperatures have created a layer of ice on the surface of Raystown Lake, a rare occurrence according to some of the park’s most experienced park rangers,” read a news release issued Thursday. “Consequently, visitors may be tempted to walk onto the ice.”

Before going onto the ice, the corps stresses to the public the following risks:

•  Emergency assistance will be very delayed or non-existent;

•  Fewer people are visiting the lake, so no one nearby will hear calls for help;

•  Raystown Lake is known for steep drop-offs and deep water that offer no safe footing;

•  Raystown is a man-made lake with fluctuating levels creating hidden air pockets and cracks; and

•  If cold water shock doesn’t kill in the first 60 seconds, hypothermia will within 10 minutes.

“Ice thickness is not measured by the staff at Raystown,” said park ranger Melissa Bean. “Although visitors may see evidence of ice fishing, skating or other activities, we do not recommend any safe locations to participate in these activities.”