Will people finally get the message that it’s not OK to walk on the ice covering Big Bear Lake?
On Jan. 18, three people — reportedly a family including a man, woman and girl — wandered onto the ice near Stanfield Cutoff despite numerous signs posted warning to stay off the ice. The trio soon found themselves in trouble as the ice gave way, and they dropped into the freezing water. Emergency personnel were quickly dispatched to the scene where the three people were pulled from the lake.
The story was picked up nationally on TMZ, the Weather Channel and several TV stations across the country. Newspaper outlets and services also carried the story.
On Jan. 21, officials from the Big Bear Municipal Water District drove around the lake to inspect the lake and check the signs that had been posted at several spots prior to the holiday. Small signs were posted at several points along Stanfield Cutoff, according to MWD general manager Mike Stephenson. On Jan. 21, many of the small temporary signs were missing.
“We tried to get permission from the county to post one of our large signs right there in the middle by the culverts,” Stephenson said. “The city told us it was a county road and needed county approval. I called county and left a voicemail (before the holiday), but no one has called us back yet.”
Stephenson said MWD employees monitored the area throughout the holiday. At one point, an MWD employee saw someone start to walk out on the ice and advised them it was against the law. “They flipped her off and kept walking,” Stephenson said.
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