Ban on walking on frozen lake ice lifted Tuesday

Lake ice, in this case on Võrtsjärv, in a previous winter.
Lake ice, in this case on Võrtsjärv, in a previous winter. Source: Fabien Cremona

A bar on members of the public venturing on to the ice on frozen bodies of water has been lifted from Tuesday.

The main requirement is that ice cover be at least 10cm in thickness, something which the authorities will monitor and update into a publicly-available map. At the same time, it is up to members of the public to exercise due care, particularly regarding smaller bodies of water.

Arvi Uustalu, spokesperson for the South Estonia, Rescue Center, said that: "In Estonia, a country rich in water bodies, there are nearly 1,200 lakes and reservoirs, as well as rivers and ponds.

"Rescuers can't get to every one of these to measure the thickness of ice, but they will certainly check the ice conditions on water bodies where people are more likely to be out and where the risk of accidents is higher," Uustalu continued.

The updated map is here. , while those venturing on to the ice should bring with them safety equipment, including hand-held ice picks, attached to the clothing via cord, which can be invaluable in extricating oneself in the event of a mishap involving plunging through the ice, as well as a whistle and flashlight, fully-recharged phone and, back on terra firma, a change of dry clothing.

An individual who came to grief in such a way in Ida-Viru County last Sunday, before the ban on crossing ice was lifted, was in fact fined €400, after being hospitalized with hypothermia.

Two men died earlier this month after the ATV they were riding on sank through a fissure in the ice covering Peipsi järv.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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