Conservation Authority Reminding Of Ice Safety On Natural Water Bodies

Heading out to skate, or play shinny? The Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority is reminding residents in the region of ice safety.

How do you know if the ice is thick enough for skating, hockey, ice fishing, or snowmobiling?

The Canadian Red Cross has some tips for the winter season, and to assess the safety of ice over natural water like lakes, ponds, creeks, and rivers.

According to the Red Cross, the first thing to know is – there is no such thing as 100% safe ice.

If you are venturing out however, here are some tips to know if the ice is safe for your recreational purposes.

The following tips are from the Canadian Red Cross:

Colour and Depth
The colour of ice may be an indication of its strength − clear blue to black ice is strongest, and likely the deepest. You should only skate on ice that is 20+ cm thick. White opaque or snow ice should be avoided. Grey ice indicates the presence of water and is unsafe to stand on.

Ice thickness is never consistent. The weakest ice will be in the center and along the edge of the water. Avoid streams and flowing water, even if they look frozen. Avoid ice that has recently frozen, thawed, and then frozen again. The safer place to skate is on a still body of water, such as a lake.

Canada is prone to fluctuating weather conditions. Consistent air temperatures below freezing make for safer, stronger ice. Swings above zero can compromise the integrity of ice by melting existing ice or changing the water level, leaving unsafe spots in both the centre and shoreline of a lake.

The LTVCA also reminds recreation seekers to obey social distancing and provincial COVID-19 restrictions.

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