A Utah teenager chose a novel, if risky, way to cool off Friday after arguing with his parents, authorities say.
The 13-year-old set off on foot across frozen Utah Lake, south of Salt Lake City, around 4 p.m. Friday, reported the Deseret News. His parents called police about 4:20 p.m. to report their son had taken off across the lake from a Saratoga Springs marina, Utah County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Spencer Cannon told the publication.
“By the time we identified where he was, he was probably halfway or more across the lake,” Cannon said. “All we could do was watch.”
The lake, which is 14 feet deep, had not yet completely frozen for the winter. The ice was probably less than two inches thick in spots, Cannon said.
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“There’s a very real risk of injury or even death,” he told the Deseret News.
Officers called the boy on his cell phone to direct him to a marina on the other side of the lake, reported The Gephardt Daily. They watched him approach the marina with binoculars.
“He said he could hear the ice cracking most of the way, and when we reached Lindon Marina and could see him, we could hear the ice cracking too,” Cannon said. “The distance was almost 6 miles and he didn’t break through the ice until his last two steps before coming ashore.”
The water was only about six inches deep at that point and the teen made his way ashore. Police warmed him up in a patrol car and returned him to his parents. Cannon noted it’s not illegal to walk across a frozen lake.
“We told him he needs to think of a better way to take out his frustration after having an argument with his parents, and that the risk he created for himself was pretty serious,” Cannon told KSL-TV. “I wouldn’t say walking six miles across ice is a normal teenage response, but a response that isn’t given much thought is not an uncommon way for teenagers to react to a situation that they’re not happy with.”