As crowds head to Lake Michigan to see and explore the ice on the lake, the U.S. Coast Guard is warning of the dangers of the ice.

Last winter brought historic levels of ice to the Great Lakes.

This winter is not as icy, with 49 percent of the Great Lakes were covered with ice as of Monday. That percentage is lower on Lake Michigan, but many are still heading out on the ice.

Walking on the pier and ice at Grand Haven is not being banned, but it is being discouraged.

The U.S. Coast Guard's Petty Officer 1st Class William Parkinson told WZZM-13 they are "incredibly dangerous to walk on. There's some further down here where the backs of them have actually caved away kind of like you would see in a glacier."

Waves and winds can be unpredictable and can cause onlookers to slip and get washed or pulled into the surf. Hypothermia is the biggest danger of falling into the water, even if one manages to get out immediately.

No ice rescues have been required so far this winter along the beach in Grand Haven.

Enjoy winter and stay safe.

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