DNR holds ice rescue training at Potato Creek State Park

NORTH LIBERTY, Ind. -- The subzero weather has frozen many of Michiana's waterways. Many people have gone out to enjoy the frozen water by ice fishing or snow mobiling. But ice can be dangerous, so the Indiana Department of Natural Resources held ice rescue training at Potato Creek on Tuesday.

Conservation officers say there is no such thing as safe ice - and they need to be ready in case someone falls through the ice.

"Every year, we seem to have individuals fall through the ice in the state of Indiana," said Jonathon Boyd, Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Boyd and many others practiced ice rescue drills at Potato Creek State Park.

They learned skills that could come in handy in the event of an accident.

"They can assist us in setting up and utilizing the systems, because minutes count. Seconds count when somebody is falling through the ice," said Boyd.

"It just makes me more confident if I have to go out there and do that," said Jim Levandoski, Potato Creek Security Guard.

As a security guard, Levandoski would be one of the first people to respond when help is need. So he says learning what to do is critical.

"It may never happen, but it's nice to have gone through this particular training exercise," said Levandoski.

This is the first winter in a while where officers have had ideal conditions to practice with.

Still, they're reminding people that there's no such thing as safe ice.

"Just because we have 12 inches of ice here at Potato Creek State Park at this location, we can go to the other side of the lake and find where there is no ice or very little ice based on environmental conditions," said Boyd.

Officers say you shouldn't go out on ice that is less than 4-inches thick - and check the ice every 100-feet.

They also recommend wearing a life jacket in case you do fall into the icy water.

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