By Devin Bartolotta

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– A dip into dangerous temperatures is creating a new deadly danger on Maryland’s waterways.

Firefighters are warning people to keep off frozen ponds and streams that are likely not frozen enough to walk on.

Ponds like may look frozen over, but it’s not thick enough to support a person’s weight. Firefighters say way too many people try it anyway every season.

“Don’t get on the ice. That’s the main message we want to present to everybody,” said Lt. Byron Welker of the Baltimore County Fire Department. “It doesn’t matter how long it’s been cold, or how thick you think it is. The ice around here isn’t consistent enough for people to get out on.”

Two years ago, 13-year-old Ky’ron Aikens died when he and some friends fell through thin ice on a pond behind Lansdowne High School. In Rockville, the same thing happened in 2014, killing 10 year old D’Angelo McMullen.

The Baltimore County Fire Department says even small backyard ponds are too risky to step out on.

The Montgomery County Fire Department has been training for this dangerous season, too. Like the delicate technique of shimmying onto the ice and pulling a victim safely to shore before hypothermia sets in.

“Hypothermia sets in, and when it gets to that point, that person that’s above that ice shelf might not be able to hang on anymore,” an official said.

Bottom line: don’t take the risk.

The general rule of thumb: ice should be more than 4 inches thick to walk out on.

Firefighters stress to never go out onto the ice after an animal and call 911 immediately.

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