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On thin ice: Are frozen ponds safe?

Bend park officials say it's not a good idea

On thin ice Are frozen ponds safe-

BEND, Ore. - It's the time of year when lakes and ponds freeze over; some of which are within Central Oregon's cities. But is it safe to walk out on them?

Bend resident Mark White and his dog found a new way to enjoy the winter season at Discovery Park in northwest Bend -- the dog tows him on a skateboard. It's a little risky, but he's not the only one out there.

"I heard a pop when there was a bunch of kids kind of congregated," White said Friday. "So I was like, 'You guys might want to move.' Tey say they come here every day."

Mark said he took a rough tumble on the ice, but did not break through.

"I did fall down pretty hard -- I ate it," he said. "I should be wearing a helmet."

Discovery Park is owned by the Bend Park and Recreation District, which strongly recommends not going out on the ice.

"You never know how thin or thick the ice is going to be, and that's just a safety hazard," Bend Park and Rec spokeswoman Julie Brown said. "This time of year, it's pretty common for us to put some signs up to discourage people from doing that activity. We can't make people, but it's our really strong recommendation that they don't."

The department can call law enforcement in, and if someone refuses to get off the ice, a trespassing violation can follow.

An officer who's worked for Bend police for over two decades told NewsChannel 21 he's never seen someone refuse to come off the ice.


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