Oswego shoreline dangerous Coast Guard warns

Lake Ontario shoreline with dangerous pack ice. Photo by; Wyatt Fulton

Lake Ontario shoreline with dangerous pack ice. Photo by; Wyatt Fulton

OSWEGO, N.Y. – Winter in Central New York can be a dangerous time of year. From lake effect snow that comes out of nowhere to the massive chunks of ice that dot the shores of Lake Ontario, winter can be a source of safety concerns if you’re not careful. Here’s how to remain safe this winter when heading out on any body of water.

There are many familiar sights and sounds to the city of Oswego during the winter months. From slushy sidewalks, to ice on the Oswego harbor, or the mountains of snow piled around the city. Winters in Oswego definitely bring a few challenges to residents. The winter also brings a few dangers. One danger that people have to worry about is actually along the shores of Lake Ontario.

The pack ice that forms around the shores of Lake Ontario might look solid, but it is not. Some parts of the pack ice can cover deep pockets of water and jagged rocks and if you are not careful, you will fall in! 

Petty Officer Justin Fields is a member of the coast guard stationed in Oswego. He and the members of his unit specialize in water rescues in Lake Ontario. He wants people to be prepared whenever they step foot onto any frozen body of water this winter.

“There is always a risk and we want people to go out to have a plan. We want them to have the proper equipment,” Petty Officer Shields said. “We want them to plan and share with their friends and family. So that suddenly if, you know, they are not home when they should be or people haven’t heard from them in a while they can say ok, something is not right.”

Even though taking pictures on the pack ice might look cool it is incredibly dangerous as you never know what will be underneath the ice. Always have a plan before stepping onto any body of water this winter. This means wearing proper winter clothing and letting someone know where you are.

“There’s no ice that can be called safe ice whatsoever. There is always a risk. There is always a danger,” fields said.

If something happens to you while out on the water, call 911 immediately. You can also contact the Oswego coast guard office at (315) 343-1551.