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VIDEO: Stay Off the Water as Spring Nears

With the spring thaw slowly approaching, officials with the Canadian Red Cross are asking citizens to stay off the rivers and other waterways.

What may appear to be a frozen sheet of ice can quickly give way underneath you instantly. That reality was demonstrated first hand on Monday when Dr. Gordon Giesbrect (aka Professor Popsicle) showed how quickly one can find themselves to be in trouble.

During a carefully planned demonstration on the Red River near the St. Vital Park boat launch, Giesbrect, along with the close supervision of Winnipeg police and firefighters, showed multiple scenarios where one could be caught off guard. The University of Manitoba cold weather expert demonstrated ice fishing and hockey, where both recreational activities could become dangerous if one isn’t prepared.

“Don’t panic and get your breathing under control,” Giesbrect advised, should anyone fall through the ice. “People think that they’re going to die of hypothermia in minutes and that causes them to panic. You just flail around and do nothing purposeful and exhaust yourself and you drown. Once you get your breathing until control… then you can make meaningful movement.”

The Red Cross held the event to create ice safety awareness.

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