OPP warn ice unsafe for snowmobiles; here’s tips to say safe this winter

Ontario Provincial Police press release

PETERBOROUGH —During the early weeks of every winter, a few outdoor enthusiasts want to get their first snow mobile run of the year and assume the ice “looks” safe and end up having close calls or paying with their lives.

Consequently, the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are reminding everyone yet again that no ice can be considered 100% safe for travel by any motorized recreational vehicles or trucks, especially at this time of year.

Due to unseasonably inconsistent weather, the ice conditions on the majority of the Province’s lakes and rivers can not be considered safe.

To avoid ice risks, the OFSC and the OPP recommend that snowmobilers ride open, land-based, groomed OFSC trails whenever possible. OFSC clubs provide many trails that avoid water crossings altogether and also provide many bridges and culverts to pass over known water safely.

If you do make the personal choice to travel on ice by snowmobile, wait until a marked stake line is in place and cross only when you can follow it from shore to shore, without stopping on the ice. While ice crossing is never a sure thing, snowmobilers can also reduce their risk by following these tips:

• Never travel on ice unless you know it is safe. If you don’t know, don’t go!

• Understand that ice conditions may vary from day to day, from hour to hour and from place to place.

• Check ice thickness before riding onto any frozen surface. At least 15 centimetres (6 inches) of clear, hard ice is needed to support one snowmobile and rider.

• Never travel on ice alone, at night or after consuming alcohol.

• Avoiding slushy ice, untracked ice, or ice near moving water.

• Stay off ice early or late in the season or after any sudden and pronounced melt, thaw or rain.

• Wear a buoyant snowmobile suit and carrying ice picks.

Remember, you always enter ice at your own risk; neither the OFSC nor its member clubs accept any responsibility or liability for ice crossings or variations in ice conditions.

The OFSC is committed to proactive leadership in promoting safe, responsible riding, on and off Ontario snowmobile trails, by building safer snowmobiling knowledge, attitudes and behaviours through rider education, safety legislation development and enforcement.

For more information, visit www.ofsc.on.ca

Title: Ice safety tips from www.ontariofishing.net

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