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Spring Ice Safety
Public Service Announcement
Whitehorse – It is that time of year when rivers and lakes are starting to melt, creating dangerous conditions if proper safety precautions are not taken.
Fast moving rivers such as the Yukon River freeze at different rates and are even more unpredictable than lakes and ponds. We encourage citizens to stay off melting ice on any bodies of water since it may be unstable.
Snowmobiling, ice fishing and cross-country skiing are some activities that happen on ice. Ice thickness should be at least 10 centimeters (4 inches) to safely support one person, and more if vehicles are present. If your work or recreation activities take you out onto the ice this spring, wear a personal flotation device and take safety equipment with you. Do not go out onto the ice alone.
If you do find yourself in a dangerous situation involving ice, please remember:
- Call 911 if you, another person or your pet needs assistance
- Stay calm and shout for help
- Have a long branch, rope or pole to reach someone, but do not become a victim
- Keep low and distribute your weight as much as possible
- Try to climb out at a different spot than where you fell in
- Be prepared to start a fire to mitigate the effects of hypothermia
Parents are encouraged to speak to their children about the dangers of going out onto the ice. Always supervise children playing on or near ice and keep pets on a leash.
Visit www.whitehorse.ca/fire for additional ice safety facts and tips.