Lifesaving Society Manitoba is recommending everyone stay off frozen bodies of water. Ice in Southern Manitoba is now unpredictable and potentially unsafe.
Do you think thick ice is stronger than thin ice? You may be surprised even thick ice may be weak if it is “rotten” or contains layers of snow. Rotten ice has frozen and thawed repeatedly, making it potentially fragile even when it appears solid.
“If you do choose to go on the ice, then you need to plan ahead and be prepared to go through the ice and into cold water,” said Lifesaving Society Executive Director Stacey Grocholski. “Wear something that floats, like a lifejacket over your winter clothes, don’t go out alone, and be prepared to perform a rescue.”
Drowning can occur at any time of the year. In fact, one third of all drownings in Manitoba every year occur during the colder months between October and April. Many of these drownings occur on ice and involve recreational snowmobiling.
“Snoman (Snowmobilers of Manitoba) Inc. would like to notify snowmobilers throughout the province that ice thickness must be at least 5 inches of clear hard ice to hold a snowmobile. Stay safe by checking ice conditions and staying on groomed trails. Moving currents can cause ice breakup rapidly and changing conditions must be taken into consideration,” said Yvonne Rideout, Executive Director.