Snowmobile safety and open water

MASON CITY, Iowa – Risk taking snowmobilers have local authorities concerned about safety.

The Mason City Police Department said they noticed snowmobile tracks heading into open water on a section of river in the 2000 block of Birch Drive in Mason City.

This portion of the river bank in has more open water than most because of the warmer run-off from the nearby water treatment plant.

Officials say they’re not surprised people are being riskier on the water, but Lt. Ron Vandeweerd with the Mason City Police Department says because of the way snowmobiles handle smaller areas of open water, the outcome of these tracks was positive.

“A snowmobile, if you get enough speed, it will actually plane over the open water for a while because of the track pushing it,” he said.

That is what they believed happened with Monday’s suspicious tracks but those tracks won’t be there for long.

Vandeweerd is cautioning any ATV drivers to be extra careful in the next couple of days since we will begin to see some warmer temperatures.

“As a general rule, water in the rivers, it’s moving faster, so they’re more apt to have thin spots on it and so you have to be careful of that especially as we move into the spring.”

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