Emergency Officials Warn to Stay Off Waterways as Temperatures Drop

Emergency Officials Warn to Stay Off Waterways as Temperatures Drop

Red River Thin Ice
Exposed water on the Red River across from St. Boniface on Tuesday, November 21, 2017. (CHRISD.CA)

WINNIPEG — Emergency officials are warning the public to be cautious of thin ice and to stay off waterways.

Polic, firefighters and paramedics say as temperatures drop, ice surfaces are thin and fragile. Falling into ice-cold water can turn deadly in a matter of minutes.

“All water and ice rescue calls carry a degree of risk for our members,” said Mark Reshaur, assistant chief, Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service.

“Areas of the river that appear calm can carry dangerous currents, and ice thickness is unpredictable any time of year, so there really is no reason to be near the water.”

The Winnipeg police river patrol unit places “Danger – Thin Ice” signages at specific locations during the winter, such as on retention ponds and other waterways. Even if such signage is not present, officials say the ice could still be unsafe in that location.

The WFPS responds to about 130 water and ice safety calls each year.

Updated ice conditions for city-run facilities can be found on the city’s website.

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