Ice is never 100 percent safe as it can change dramatically in response to weather and water conditions.
Grey County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) advise that they are not in a position to declare ice conditions safe, however, they can urge the public practice proper ice safety.
Ice safety and weight-bearing properties of ice can be affected by many factors, including: thickness, currents, age of the ice, pressure cracks and snow cover. Ice conditions can change dramatically.
“Almost all recreational activities involve some risk. Grey County OPP encourage everyone to assess and manage the risks of their recreational activities so they can enjoy the outdoors,” said the OPP.
Children should not play on or near ice covered bodies of water unless supervised by an experienced, safety-conscious adult, who is familiar with local conditions and currents.
Safety tips if you are considering venturing out on ice-covered water:
Check the weather. Avoid ice-related activities on warm or stormy days.
Check ice conditions. The Lifesaving Society recommends a minimum ice thickness of 10 cm (4 inches) for a single person to walk, ice fish, or cross-country ski on.
Avoid vehicle travel on ice.
Never go onto the ice alone. A buddy may be able to rescue you or go for help if necessary.
Wear a thermal protection buoyant suit to increase your chances of survival should you go through the ice.
Carry ice picks, an ice staff, rope and a cell phone with you.
Do not drink alcohol or consume other drugs. Alcohol/drugs impair judgement and reduces your body's ability to stay warm in cold conditions.
TMI file photo. Photo: Roger Klein