Bulkley Valley Search and Rescue advises ice awareness

Unusually warm and fluctuating temperatures make ice conditions suspect on area lakes and ponds

Snowmobiling in the back country over lakes (File photo)

Snowmobiling in the back country over lakes (File photo)

Because no ice surface is without some risk, Bulkley Valley Search and Rescue (BVSAR) is urging people to become “ice aware” and take all necessary precautions before you venture out.

In the winter many Canadians take to the area lakes and ponds for adventure, fun and play. Frozen bodies of water offer great sporting opportunities such as ice fishing, cross country skiing, skating, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.

This year with the temperatures varying, it is important to know what the recommended minimum depth of ice is for activities to remain safe.

READ MORE: Are outdoor ice rinks safe? Experts say skating is low risk, but precautions needed

As a general rule if the ice is 7 cm (3 inches) thick or less, stay off the ice.

For ice fishing, walking, one snowmobile or cross country skiing, 10-12 cm (4 to 5 inches) is sufficient.

If you are looking to drive a vehicle on the ice, a minimum ice thickness of 20-30 cm (8-12 inches) is recommended for one small car or pickup.

For a medium-sized pickup, the recommended minimums are 30-38 cm (12-15 inches) of ice.

Although there have not been any serious incidents in the area this year so far, social media accounts indicate at least two people have gone through the ice on Lake Kathlyn, fortunately close to shore.

“Always leave a trip plan with a responsible party, family member or friend.” BVSAR reminds people.

“Take the right gear and be prepared.”

A recommended equipment list for any outdoor or back country adventure should include: a fire making kit, flashlight, extra food and clothing, whistle or mirror, a first aid kit, navigation/communication aids, pocket knife, an emergency shelter and sun protection.

READ MORE: Avalanche warning issued for B.C. Interior, Alberta

A recommended equipment list specifically for ice safety should include: thermal underwear and a second layer for warmth; waterproof jacket and pants; a warm hat, gloves and socks; snowmobile flotation suit or lifejacket/PFD (personal flotation device); and safety equipment including ice picks, an ice staff and rope.

If you break through the ice, do not panic. Turn toward the direction you came from and place your hands and arms flat on the unbroken surface. Kick your feet and try to push yourself up on the unbroken ice on your stomach, like a seal.

Once you are lying on the ice, don’t stand up. Roll away from the break until you are on solid ice.

If you are out and someone else breaks through the ice, stay calm and think through the situation. Don’t run up to the hole as you may break through the ice too. Use an item to throw or extend to them like a rope, jumper cables, branch or ski to pull them out.

Use a cell phone to call 911 immediately if you are or you see someone in trouble.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Pond Hockey (File Photo)

Pond Hockey (File Photo)

Boys thought the creek was frozen and broke through. Everyone is safe and sound. (File photo)

Boys thought the creek was frozen and broke through. Everyone is safe and sound. (File photo)

Just Posted

The Quesnel RCMP Detachment is one of seven northern police buildings which can now connect directly to Prince George for daily bail hearings. (Observer File Photo)
Bail hearings going virtual in B.C.’s north

A court pilot project will see virtual courtroom cameras set up in seven RCMP detatchments

FILE – Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have agreed to sign a memorandum on rights and title with B.C. and Ottawa, but elected chiefs are demanding it be called off over lack of consultation. (Thom Barker photo)
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Lake Babine Nation get provincial funding for land, title rights

Government says it’s a new, flexible model for future agreements between Canada, B.C. and First Nations.

The property on which a residential school (pictured) that was torn down years ago in Lower Post is to be the location of a cultural centre. (Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre photo)
Lower Post residential school building to be demolished, replaced with cultural centre

Project to be funded by federal and provincial governments, Daylu Dena Council

The Dease Lake Airport is receiving $11-million in upgrades funded by the province, Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine and mining companies. (British Columbia Aviation Council)
Major upgrades coming to Dease Lake Airport

Airport to receive $11-million from the province, regional district and mining companies

Dianna Plouffe, right, with Mayor Gladys Atrill in front of Town Hall following the announcement she will be the new CAO> (Facebook photo)
Director of corporate services named Smithers CAO

Dianna Plouffe replaces Alan Harris who is retiring at the end of April

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

(Black Press file photo).
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Most Read