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Posted on Fri. Jan. 04, 2013 - 12:01 am EDT

Skating (or just walking) on thin ice risky business

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Safety guidelines

Where to ice skate

For ice skaters who can’t wait to get on the ice, skating is available at the outdoor rink at Headwaters Park.

The public skating hours are as follows:

•1 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday

•Noon to 10 p.m. Fridays

•11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays

•Noon to 8 p.m. Sundays

Source: Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department Ice fishing safety guidelines

•Drill a test hole near shore and make sure it shows at least a 4-inch thickness of clear ice

•Wear a life jacket for extra warmth and safety

•Be aware that ice can vary in thickness from one area of a pond or lake to another

•New ice is usually stronger that old ice

•Indiana law limits ice fishing holes to a diameter of 12 inches

•Fishing shanties must have reflectors on each side Ice by the inches

•1 inch of ice – Stay off the ice

•4 inches of ice – Safe for ice fishing

•5 inches of ice – Safe for snowmobiling

•8 inches of ice – Safe for driving a car or truck to travel on

•10 inches of ice – Safe for driving a medium-weight truck to travel on

Source: Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Fort Wayne — Ice enthusiasts are asked to proceed with caution while enjoying winter sports such as skating or fishing as thin ice can mean danger, area officials warn.

City skating ponds at Lakeside, Swinney East, Franke and Reservoir parks will be closed this weekend because of thin ice, according to the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department.

The parks department will have red lights and flags at the park ponds to indicate that it is unsafe to skate. For additional information, call the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department at 427-6000 or go to

Local ice fishermen are also asked to use extreme caution when heading out onto frozen lakes or ponds to fish, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Indiana conservation officers encourage ice fishermen to carry a life jacket or other flotation device, to check ice regularly, and to avoid going out on the ice alone.

At least one ice-related fall has been reported, local conservation officers said, and one death has been reported in Indiana.

A Huntington fisherman was rescued Thursday after falling through the ice on a small pond south of Roush Lake in Huntington County.

Shortly after 11 a.m., a conservation officer, the Huntington County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana State Police and local fire and rescue departments responded to a call that a man had fallen through the ice near North Warren Road in Huntington.

Michael H. Gosnell, 68, was found in the frigid water, clinging to the ice he had recently fallen through, according to a written statement from conservation officers.

Gosnell was pulled from the water and treated by emergency medical services and then transported to Parkview Huntington Hospital, officials said.

He was being treated for cold-related injuries, bruises and cuts.

Gosnell was not wearing a life jacket at the time, officials said. His fishing companion, James Koon, of Huntington, witnessed the icy plunge and called 911.

In northwest Indiana, authorities say 50-year-old Edward Ihnat of Whiting drowned after he fell through the ice while skating with a friend on a lake.

The Lake County Coroner’s Office said he died Thursday at a Hammond hospital.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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