PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Some people took advantage of the frozen Illinois river this past Sunday, Jan. 30.
As fun as it may be to take your motorcycle and drive it around on the frozen Illinois river, there are some things to be aware of.
It is legal to be on the ice on the river, but the key is how one accesses it. As long as people get permission from their local government, or if people access the river from private property, they can spend time on the frozen river.
The Fondulac Chief of Police, Michael Johnson, said in order to stay safe, try to stay away from the active channel.
Johnson recommends finding out the depth of the ice to make sure it does not break, while five to six inches is usually a safe measurement. Active fishers can also cause the ice to crack, so be aware of those areas.
Johnson also said to tell somebody before going on the ice, so they know where to check if anything were to happen.
“If it looks like it’s starting to get really slushy, or the color looks like it’s starting to get a little white or creamy, that’s a good indication that it might be soft ice and you want to stay away from that,” said Johnson.
Johnson said if people fall through the ice, they need to remain calm. Most people gasp once they go under and fill their lungs with water immediately. But to stay safe, he said to stay calm, lay horizontally, and try to grab hold of the ice to crawl back out. He said once out, to roll away from the hole to get on steadier ground.
If anyone is in doubt of the safety of the ice, contact the local police department, so they can check it out.