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Items of Interest

Items Of

  Ice Safety

Jan 12, 2015 12:36 ET

DRPS wants to remind residents to embrace winter but to also exercise caution when venturing onto the ice. The following are some helpful tips to help keep you safe.

Ice Safety

Some of the most fun and traditional Canadian winter activities involve the use of ice. Activities such as pond hockey, ice fishing, snowmobiling can be great fun but also very dangerous.

Ice Colour:
Be aware of the colour of the ice as it can indicate the strength. If it is clear blue it is the strongest ice. Opaque ice is the second strongest ice, as it is formed by wet snow freezing on the ice. If you see grey ice, it is not safe. The grey shows that water is present. To take extra precaution, check with local authorities before going out on the ice.

Alone On Ice:
If you find yourself alone on ice that is not safe follow these tips:
First, call for help. Try not to climb out of the water where you fell in because the ice is weak there. Float on your stomach and grab a stronger piece of ice to pull yourself onto. Use your legs to push yourself up. When you are on the ice, roll away from the opening and keep legs and arms spread out to keep your weight evenly distributed. Do not stand up!

With Others on Ice:
If you find yourself having to rescue another person the best is to try and do it from the shore. Call for help and contact emergency services like police, fire fighters or an ambulance. Try to reach the person with a pole or a branch. It may help to lie on your stomach. Wear a life jacket. Have the person kick while you pull them onto the ice.

The following are a few tips to keep your ice adventures safe and memorable:

▪ Check thickness of the ice. Ice should be 15 cm (6 inches) for walking and skating, 20 cm (8 inches) for parties and games and 25 cm (10 inches) for snowmobiling

▪ Check recent weather reports before going on the ice to make sure there has been no recent thaw

▪ Wear padding, helmets and other protective gear for skating and hockey

▪ Tie skates tightly to avoid ankle injuries

▪ Large waterways can be unpredictable so use extra discretion when participating in activities on Lake Ontario, Lake Scugog and Lake Simcoe

For more information on ice safety, please contact your local parks and recreation service.