Kimberley Search and Rescue has provided information on ice safety as we have transitioned into winter. In a social media post, KSAR cautions that changing seasons bring new hazards. They ask you to take a moment to check ice thickness before stepping on it.
KSAR provides the following guidelines for ice safety:
3 inches (7 cm) - Stay off!
4 inches (10cm) - ice fishing, walking, cross country skiing
5 to 7 inches (13 to 18 cm) - one snowmobile or ATV
8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm) - one car, group of people
12 to 15 inches (30 to 38 cm) - one medium truck (pickup or van)
The website adventuresmart.ca also provides information on what to do if you or a companion do go through the ice.
If you break through:
• Do not panic. Your clothing will trap air and keep you buoyant.
• Turn towards the direction you came from and place your hands and arms flat on the unbroken surface.
• Kick your feet and try to push yourself up on top of the unbroken ice on your stomach, like a seal.
• Once you are lying on the ice, don’t stand up. Roll away from the break until you are on solid ice.
If your buddy breaks through:
• Stay calm and think out a solution.
• Don’t run up to the hole. You might break through and then you’ll both need help.
• Use an item to throw or extend to your friend to pull them out of the water – if you don’t have a rope, improvise with items such as jumper cables, skis, etc.
• If you can’t rescue your buddy immediately, call 911 on a cell phone.
And as always, Kimberley Search and Rescue reminds you if you need SAR, call 911 or activate your emergency GPS. SAR must be activated from emergency agencies, calling directly does not help.