Rescue divers say Boise ice is unsafe to skate on

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - KBOI News found two people skating on a pond near fire station number one on Reserve road near Fort street. Rescue divers with the Boise Fire Department know this pond well. "That pond is one of the ponds that we go train on, it's one of the first ponds that we can go to for surface ice training. It isn't very deep but I wouldn't want to go through it in clothing," says Scott Hall, a rescue diver.

Divers say that water flows underneath the ice at the pond keeping it from ever fully getting thick. They add it generally takes a long period of cold with subzero temperatures and that's when you start to get the good thick ice.

Hall says reaching someone who has fallen through the ice is a dangerous rescue. Last year divers say they had only one rescue and that was on a dog that eventually died because of the freezing temperatures. Rescuers say that a person would have only a few minutes before they would start freezing trying to get out of the water.

"Their limbs are going to go numb within 30 seconds to 2 minutes and be almost useless. Their best technique is to get away from the area of the ice that they broke through and try to find a more solid surface," Hall says.

Generally the Fire Department says the ice is not considered safe in Boise and playing on the ice early in the season may be especially unsafe.