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Lifesaving Society, Emergency Officials Warn of Thin Ice

March 21, 2023 6:54 AM | News

Thin Ice Sign

Thin ice has prompted a warning from emergency officials to stay off waterways. (UMANITOBA.CA)

WINNIPEG — With the first day of spring in the books and warming seasonal temperatures, Winnipeg emergency officials are warning the public to stay off frozen bodies of water.

Winnipeg police, the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service and the Lifesaving Society Manitoba are echoing advice that ice in southern Manitoba is unpredictable at this time of year.

“If you do choose to go on the ice, then you need to plan ahead and be prepared to go through the ice and into cold water,” said Lifesaving Society executive director Stacey Grocholski.

“Wear something that floats like a floater suit or even a lifejacket. Do not go out alone and be prepared to perform a rescue.”

The Forks closed the Nestaweya River Trail for the season last week and more city rinks are also closing up for the season.

“All rivers, streams, retention ponds and ditches should be avoided. Conditions can change quickly due to weather, especially when it is warm or after a snowfall,” said Winnipeg police river patrol officer Ray Duma. “As always, we ask the community to be water smart and stay safe.”

Data from the Lifesaving Society Manitoba shows one-third of all drownings in the province occur during the colder months between October and April. Many of these drownings occur on ice and involve recreational snowmobiling.