The RCMP are encouraging Manitobans to take safety precautions when going out onto lake and river ice after the stint of warm February weather we are coming out of here in Manitoba.
Constable Sean O'Keefe says the warm weather has caused ice to melt quicker than expected and the snow on top acts as an insulator and can hide open water. He has some suggestions for people who are planning on going out onto the ice.
“Always check the ice conditions before going out and let someone know where you are going and when you will be back. Don't travel alone if you can avoid it, always go with somebody else and make sure you have some sort of personal flotation device, potentially a first aid kit, something to keep warm, and flairs just in case.”
O'Keefe says it seems every year there is an incident or two in Manitoba where a vehicle or fishing shack is lost in a lake or river. He notes most of these incidents happen on lakes.
“The Life Saving Society of Canada has about 73% of incidents on lakes, the rest in rivers, but both carry with them the shock of going into cold water, the danger of hypothermia. Rivers also carry a stronger current and could take a potential victim farther away from where they fell in, making it harder for them to get out.”
O'Keefe says many other snowmobiling and conservation groups are also recommending avoiding water if possible. He notes hopefully everyone can steer clear of these accidents and avoid a tragedy.
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