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Michigan City Parks Department Warns Citizens about Shelf Ice


The ice along the shore - shelf ice - is not solid. Lightweight with air pockets, this ice was pushed onto and near the beach by wind and wave action, forming an attractive shoreline with deadly invisible holes. Beautiful but deadly, the snowy beach looks inviting for a solitary stroll, but a fall through the shelf ice into water can be deadly!

Do not walk on shelf ice and stay off the Lighthouse Pier!

A person applying even a small amount of weight on the shelf ice can easily fall through and into frigid water that can quickly kill. If you fall through, hypothermia will very quickly set in and survival is unlikely. Because of the constant shifting of the layers of ice, you may not be able to find the very hole you fell through to get out. Also the lighthouse pier is ice covered, which can lead to one slipping and falling off the pier. The forces of Lake Michigan are difficult enough to manage during the warm weather months without adding the more severe elements of winter.

Please exercise sound common sense and respect Lake Michigan!

Please stay off the shelf ice!

If you have any questions, please visit or call Park Superintendent Jeremy Kienitz at 219-873-1506.

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