FORT FRANCES – NEWS – The Rainy River District Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) received multiple calls over the weekend regarding individuals venturing onto the ice. In response, the OPP is issuing a reminder to residents about the inherent dangers of thin ice, despite below-zero temperatures.
Ice Safety Advisory:
- The OPP emphasizes that even with sub-zero temperatures, ice conditions remain unpredictable and hazardous.
- Residents are urged to stay away from open bodies of water due to the potential dangers posed by thin ice.
Supervision and Child Safety:
- Always supervise children playing outdoors, especially near rivers, ponds, creeks, or ditches, as even minimal water levels pose drowning risks.
- Falling into cold water during this season can lead to hypothermia and, in severe cases, death.
Cold Water Hazards:
- Cold water temperatures can impede even strong swimmers from escaping after falling through the ice.
- While frozen ponds and rivers may appear safe, warmer weather can compromise the integrity of the ice.
Annual Incidents and “1-10-1” Rule:
- The OPP responds to yearly reports of people falling through the ice, including fatalities.
- A vital reminder for those on frozen waterways is the “1-10-1” rule: one minute to catch your breath, 10 minutes of active movement, and one hour for rescue. After an hour, hypothermia and the risk of death increase.
Unpredictable Ice Thickness:
- There is no assurance of 100 percent safe ice. If unsure of ice thickness, it is advised to stay off.
Caution and Safety:
- Residents are urged to exercise extreme caution and prioritize safety during the winter season.