Sinking feeling: York Regional cops urge people to stay off the ice

There have been several ice rescues over the past few days

The messaging is not sinking in with everyone as area police services urge people to stay off bodies of water because of unsafe ice conditions.

Picture provided: York Regional Police – Lake Simcoe

Sinking is what has been happening of late on Lake Simcoe. So far, some vehicles and ice huts have gone through the ice, while a number of individuals have been rescued by fire and police.

On Friday, Mar. 12, York Regional Police assisted South Simcoe Police with a call on Lake Simcoe after several anglers were stranded when the ice began breaking apart. Officers also aided Ramara firefighters and the Durham Regional Police Marine Unit to successfully rescue seven people. Five were treated for mild hypothermia and one person was taken to hospital with severe hypothermia.

Picture provided: York Regional Police – Lake Simcoe

Barrie firefighters assisted their Oro-Medonte counterparts, while Ramara fire crews were also on hand, as two people were rescued from Lake Simcoe when their ATV went through the ice on Saturday.

York Regional Police said each year they respond to calls of people, vehicles and pets that have fallen through the ice. Citizens are reminded to keep pets and children away from all ice surfaces during times where the ice is unsafe.

Following these safety tips can help keep you safe:

  • Know the condition of the ice before you go out and remember that changes in the weather can rapidly alter conditions on lakes and streams
  • Wear proper clothing and floatation attire
  • Never venture out onto the lake alone
  • Ensure you have a cell phone with a fully-charged battery in the event of an emergency
  • Tell someone where you are going, with whom and what time you will return

Police remind people that garbage and other materials that are left behind on the ice in the winter are not only pollution, but can be hazards for swimmers and boaters in the spring and summer.