Now that we’re deep into a winter that so far seems to have more stretches of frigid weather than average, a hazard not regularly affecting us here is the danger of soft ice. Some forecasts warn of the possibility of several more, long deep freezes to come this season, as winter drags on. This could cause the water along South Boston’s 3 miles of beautiful shoreline to ice up once again. Most people are aware that salt water doesn’t freeze as quickly or get as hard as does the fresh water in lakes, ponds and rivers, even though it may appear to be so from a distance. This is why environmental officials again this year remind the public to use caution when at or near the beach during the winter months. Their sound advice is that, no matter how cold it may be and for how long, it is never a good idea to attempt to walk on ice, if it does form at our beaches as it was beginning to do just 2 weeks ago. Walking on salt water ice is not advisable ever. The message from the experts that we feel cannot be repeated often enough is to never walk out onto an icecovered body of sea water. And please, make sure this is emphasized to the kids. Dog owners too should refrain from allowing their canine friends to get loose, while walking them at the beach, because they can fall through a soft flow almost as easy. Taking these precautions this winter will help prevent an avoidable tragedy.