As the spring weather approaches and daily temperatures begin to rise, members of the York Regional Police Marine Unit are reminding residents to stay safe on Lake Simcoe and surrounding bodies of water as the ice conditions are changing rapidly.
“Each year, members of the Marine Unit respond to calls of people, vehicles and pets that have fallen through the ice,” shares Constable Laura Nicolle.
Citizens are reminded to keep pets and children away from all ice surfaces during these times when the ice is melting.
The thickness of the ice on Lake Simcoe can vary based on currents below the surface and temperatures above. Uneven cracks can quickly form, resulting in hazardous obstacles.
Remember: No surface of ice or body of water is ever completely safe. It is crucial that citizens take individual responsibility in evaluating the dangers of any recreational activity.
Know the condition of the ice before you go out; wear proper clothing and floatation attire; never venture out onto the lake alone; ensure you have a cell phone with a fully-charged battery in the event of an emergency; and tell someone where you are going, with whom and what time you will return.
YRP also reminds you to respect the environment and waterway.
“Every year, garbage and other materials that are left behind on the ice in the winter are not only pollution but can be hazards for swimmers and boaters in the spring and summer,” Nicolle says. “If you took it out on the ice, then take it back on land before the ice melts.”
For more information and safety tips, contact the Marine Unit at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 7321.