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CLEVELAND (WJW) — The U.S. Coast Guard is reminding people of the danger in wandering out onto the frozen parts of Lake Erie this winter.

“Last year, there were multiple accidents due to ice instability resulting in persons falling into the ice-cold water and total loss of personal recreational equipment, like snowmobiles and ATVs,” the Coast Guard said in a statement.

The ice this season is reportedly much thinner than in comparison to previous years, causing it to be incredibly “unstable” and “weak.” Warning of hypothermia, the Coast Guard stated people probably should steer clear of going out onto the ice altogether.

“Never assume the ice is safe, even if others are on it,” the Coast Guard said.

They recommended anyone going near the ice to take precautions by dressing warmly and in bright clothing, and to also bring along a whistle and other safety gear.