In a Jan. 18 press release, game wardens urge anyone accessing Maine’s lake and ponds to exercise extreme caution. Following the Jan. 17 rescue of three people from Long Pond in Southwest Harbor, at least nine more people reported breaking through thin ice on snowmobiles in the last 24-hour period, according to the Warden Service.

Rain and warm temperatures late last week deteriorated ice conditions significantly statewide. The recent return to cold temperatures should not relax the need for extreme caution on Maine’s waterways. The latest incidents are clear indications that ice conditions are quite hazardous. Accessing lakes and ponds should be avoided unless operators can be certain of ice conditions. Those not familiar with ice conditions are encouraged to contact local snowmobile clubs for ice safety information.

For more information, call the Bureau of Warden Service, 657-2345.