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OPP warning to beware of thin ice

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The OPP is reminding the community of the dangers of thin ice.

With the colder weather among us, the ice is beginning to form but unstable conditions still are present on many lakes, rivers, and waterways.

This past week, the Kenora OPP responded to three calls for service of youths trying to walk on thin ice.

Ice begins to be “safe” at around four-six inches of thickness. Do not even walk on ice three inches or less in thickness.

However, even at a nine- to 10-inch thickness, there may be unforeseen hazards such as a flowing current underneath that is ceaselessly weakening the underside of the ice.

In this instance, even the thickness is not a good indicator of safety as the ice could collapse at any time.

In general, the rules for ice thickness measurements are:

  • three inches (seven cm)—keep off;
  • four inches (10 cm)—suitable for ice-fishing, cross-country skiing, and walking (about 200 pounds);
  • five inches (12 cm)—suitable for a single snowmobile or ATV (about 800 pounds);
  • eight-12 inches (20-30 cm)—suitable for one car or group of people (about 1,500-2,000 pounds); and
  • 12-15 inches (30-38 cm)—suitable for a light pickup truck or a van.

It is important to remember that these measurements do not indicate ice safety in every instance.

It is imperative to follow safety practices when travelling on the ice at all times.

For these and more ice safety tips, visit www.opp.ca

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