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Monday, February 5, 2018

Prepare For Self-Rescue

Orillia | by Ian MacLennan  

OPP say emergency services might not make it in time if you go through the ice on a lake.

OPP Sgt Peter Leon says the police advice is there is no safe ice,  however  if you are going to venture on to a lake,  you need to be prepared for self rescue.

He says people need to be able to get themselves out of the water, because emergency services might not be able to make it there in time, and the water is very cold and hypothermia will set in quickly.

Leon says that means having an ice pick that is accessible, don't leave it on the sled or somewhere in the ATV.

Police also recommend wearing a full flotation suit, which Leon says will give a person an opportunity to fight the cold water and hopefully an opportunity to get out of the water.

Leon says there have already been incidents this winter where an individual have gone through the ice and become exhausted very fast.

He says the person's energy is literally zapped and it is a fight to survive.

On Friday in Haliburton,  eight people on sleds, ATV's and side-by-side vehicles went through the ice on lakes in separate incidents.

No one was injured, but a bystander had to pull one man to shore using a rope,  while in the other incident,  police charged a man with impaired.

Leon says if you plan to venture on to an ice-covered lake,  check with ice hut operators first, because they know the best ice conditions in the area.

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