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Ontario police warn of unstable ice conditions after elderly woman falls through Lake of the Woods

Apr 05, 2020 06:12AM ● By Editor
Kenora OPP are warning people about thin ice in the region after a woman fell through the ice on Lake of the Woods. She was not injured in the incident. Photo: Glenn Reid/CBC

From CBC News - April 5, 2020

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) in Kenora area are reminding people about the dangers of thin ice as Lake of the Woods and other lakes and rivers begin to thaw.

The reminder comes after an elderly woman fell through ice near Beach Road on Lake of the Woods on Wednesday.

The woman was rescued and not injured in the incident, police stated in a written release on Friday.

"The mild weather has created unstable ice conditions on lakes, rivers and other waterways in the area," said police.

According to police, ice begins to be "safe" at around four to six inches of thickness.

"Do not even walk on ice 3 inches or less in thickness...even at a nine to ten inch thickness, there may be unforeseen hazards such as a flowing current underneath that is ceaselessly weakening the underside of the ice," police said. "In this instance, even the thickness is not a good indicator of safety, as the ice could collapse at any time."

According to police, general rules for ice thickness measurements are as follows:

  • 3" (7 cm) (new ice) - Keep Off
  • 4" (10 cm) - suitable for ice fishing, cross-country skiing and walking (approx. 200 pounds)
  • 5" (12 cm) - suitable for a single snowmobile or ATV (approx. 800 pounds)
  • 8" - 12" (20 - 30 cm) - suitable for one car, group of people (approx. 1500 - 2000 pounds)
  • 12" - 15" (30 - 38 cm) - suitable for a light pickup truck or a van

OPP added that community members should always inform others of outdoor travel plans, route, and estimated time of return. They said wearing proper gear, such as a floater coat or suit, and carrying proper survival equipment is also recommended when on ice.

To read the original story and see related reporting, follow this link to the CBC News website.
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