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  Watch For Unpredictable Ice Conditions

Jan 08, 2016 12:30 ET

The changing temperatures this winter have made for unsafe and unpredictable waterway conditions across the region.

The ice along the shorelines of Lake Scugog, Lake Simcoe and Lake Ontario the can be very thin and poses a danger for children and pets who are also attracted to the moving water. If your pet or child wanders out on to the ice and gets stranded please call 911; local emergency services are fully trained to deal with the situation.

Police are also seeing residents doing water runs on the lake, particularly on Lake Scugog. This consists of racing a snowmobile across the lake at high speeds. This is very dangerous behaviour, never mind the potential damage to the snowmobile. The following are some tips to help keep you safe while navigating the ice.

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, 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 then 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 a solid surface like 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.

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Below are attached files.
Ice (JPG file, 963.1K bytes)