Whitehorse– If you don’t know, don’t go. It’s that time of year when rivers and lakes are beginning to freeze, creating potentially dangerous conditions.
Fast moving rivers such as the Yukon River freeze at different rates, and are even more unpredictable than lakes and ponds. We encourage everyone to stay off river ice, and as an alternative, please use designated ice surfaces such as community ice rinks.
Snowmobiling, ice fishing, and cross country skiing are some activities that will happen on the ice this winter. Ice thickness should be at least 10 centimeters (four inches) to safely support one person, and more if vehicles are present. Please note: due to the recent warm weather, typical ice conditions will be delayed longer than usual.
If your work or recreation activities take you out onto the ice this winter, wear a personal flotation device, and take safety equipment with you. More importantly, do not go out onto the ice alone.
If you do find yourself in a dangerous situation involving ice, please remember:
Call 911 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;
If you break through the ice, make an attempt to climb out where you fell through, if possible; and
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.