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Ice Safety Reminder

Post Date:04/16/2021 10:00 AM

Whitehorse – It’s that time of year when rivers and lakes are starting to melt, creating dangerous conditions if proper safety precautions are not taken.

Fast moving rivers such as the Yukon River melt at different rates and are even more unpredictable than lakes and ponds. We encourage citizens to stay off melting ice on any bodies of water, since it may be unstable.

It is strongly recommended to avoid going onto the Schwatka Lake ice surface due to likely dangerous conditions such as a void space between the ice and the water beneath it, and a faster than usual flow of water.

If your work or recreation activities take you out onto the ice this spring, wear a personal flotation device and take safety equipment with you. Do not go out onto the ice alone. Ice thickness should be at least 10 centimetres (four inches) to safely support one person, and more if vehicles are present.

Residents are also encouraged to download the what3words app to identify their exact location to an emergency responder, if help is required.

If you do find yourself in a dangerous situation involving ice, please remember:

  • Call 9-1-1 if you, another person or your pet needs assistance;
  • Stay calm and shout for help;
  • Have a long branch, rope or pole to reach someone, but do not become a victim;
  • Keep low and distribute your weight as much as possible;
  • Try to climb out at the same spot where you fell in as you know the ice is solid in that area;
  • Be prepared to start a fire to mitigate the effects of hypothermia.

Parents are encouraged to speak to their children about the dangers of going out onto the ice. Always supervise children playing on or near ice and keep pets on a leash.