Snowmobiling is a major winter outdoor recreational activity in Maine, contributing more than $300 million annually to the state’s economy. More than 94,000 people register their snowmobiles annually with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

While most snowmobilers are safe, unfortunately, injuries and fatalities occur. Almost every year, a sledder dies when he/she falls through thin ice, especially at inlets and outlets.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is partnering with Brookfield Renewable Energy on a public safety announcement titled “Don’t Become a Statistic.” The message stresses the importance of heeding water-release warnings near dams and checking for open water or thin ice on inlets and outlets.

Maine Warden Service dive team members, along with an airboat, will be in the icy water of Tricky Pond near the Boat Launch off Route 114 in Naples on Tuesday, Jan. 4 at 10:30 a.m. as the public safety announcement is filmed.

Those in attendance will be Major Gregory Sanborn, deputy chief game warden of the Maine Warden Service, and Bob Meyers, executive director of the Maine Snowmobile Association.

Last year, MDIF&W and the Maine Snowmobile Association partnered on a public service announcement that promoted a safe and fun season and stressed the importance of being safe on the trails.

The vide can be viewed on the department’s YouTube page by clicking the following: youtube.com/mefishwildlife.

VillageSoup sports staff can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at sports@villagesoup.com.