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"Dead Man's Patch" was the name given to an area of thin ice on an unnamed body of water in or near Valdez, Alaska on the planet Earth. During winter months, when ice skating was popular on this body of water, "Dead Man's Patch" was marked off with warning signs, and skaters cautioned not to go beyond the safety area.
As a young girl, Lyrinda Halk would often risk skating into the Dead Man's Patch, to the distress of her friend, William Riker. Halk once pretended to be in danger of falling through the frozen surface, tricking and angering Riker. This early tendency for risk-taking would repeat itself throughout Halk's life. (TNG comic: "Thin Ice")