Members of the Kenora detachment of the OPP are reminding the public of the dangers of thin ice, as local waterways begin to freeze over in the area. Police have responded to three calls for service of youths attempting to walk on thin ice this week alone.

Police say that despite some ice forming, unstable conditions are still present on many lakes, rivers and waterways. Ice begins to be “safe” at around 4”-6” in thickness. However, even at 9”-10” thicknesses, there may be unforeseen hazards such as flowing current and weakened ice.

The OPP would like to remind citizens to keep off of ice under 3” of thickness. 4” of ice is suitable for 200 pounds of weight, and is typically safe for ice fishing, cross-country skiing and walking. Police say that 5” of thickness is suitable for a single snowmobile or ATV of approximately 800 pounds. Between 8”-12” is suitable for a single car with a group of people – approximately 1,500-2,000 pounds. Light pickup trucks and vans are suitable on ice between 12”-15” thick.

Police add that even if an ice surface meets the above thickness recommendations, it’s important to remember ice safety at all times, and to travel safely. Always be sure to communicate your whereabouts before heading out onto the ice, and where you plan to travel. Never travel on the ice while impaired by drugs or alcohol. 

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