A reminder from Welland Fire that 'No Ice is Safe Ice'

frozen lake

A warning from officials in Welland to stay off the frozen canal.

Welland Fire and Emergency Services wants to remind residents that 'No Ice is Safe Ice.'

35% of drownings in Canada take place between late Fall and early Spring, when there was no intention of entering the water.  

Officials say if you are going to fish, snowmobile, ice race, cross country ski, go for walks, or skate on frozen lakes, ponds, or canals, you should consider that:

• Water in Ontario is colder than you think.
• A person can go into cold water shock in less than 1 minute.
• You can only survive a few minutes in cold water.
• Most drownings occur in water less than 20 degrees Celsius.
• No ice is without risk.
• Motorized activities over frozen bodies of water poses a large risk. ? Repeated passes can unknowingly fracture the ice below

Ice Safety Tips:

• Check the ice thickness.
• Colour of ice matters, clear blue ice is the strongest. White or opaque ice is much weaker, stay away from ice that looks honeycombed, common during thaws or in the spring
• Near-shore ice is often much thicker and safer than ice farther out, especially at the start of the winter season.
• Ice that formed over flowing water, springs, pressure cracks or old ice holes can be weaker than the surrounding ice.
• Wear a lifejacket and survival suit, these items can buy you some time and can preserve body heat.
•If you are going out onto ice, know what to do if you break through.