Grand Rapids RCMP reminds the public to stay off the ice

November 26, 2021
Grand Rapids, Manitoba

Safety Tip

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Over the past two days, Grand Rapids RCMP received five reports of people walking on dangerously thin ice near the bridge which spans the Saskatchewan River at Grand Rapids, Manitoba. Officers responded immediately to ensure the safety of all involved, but the individuals had already come off the ice.

The RCMP is reminding everyone that despite cold air temperatures, many bodies of water in Manitoba are still in the process of freezing over. The ice is still very thin on many swamps and lakes, and larger rivers and lakes have large sections of open water.

According to the Canadian Red Cross, ice thickness should be a minimum of:

  • 15 cm for skating, walking or skiing in small groups
  • 20 cm for larger groups, such as skating parties
  • 25 cm for snowmobiles or ATVs

If you fall through the ice, here's what to do:

  • Do not panic.
  • Call for help.
  • Your clothing will trap air and keep you buoyant for a few seconds. Use this time to get into a floating position on your stomach.
  • 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 top of the ice, don't stand up. Roll away from the break until you are on solid ice.

"These were potentially dangerous situations," said Sergeant Jonathan Greer, Detachment Commander of Grand Rapids RCMP. "We remind the public to stay off lakes and rivers until they reach the appropriate thickness. Being on the ice at this time of year is a risk you just don't need to take."

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