Are you on thin ice?

MANITOULIN – Members of the Manitoulin OPP Detachment indicate that every year emergency services respond to vehicles that have broken through the ice.  Snowmobiles, passenger vehicles, all-terrain vehicles (ATV) that travel on ice for recreational purposes have a responsibility to ensure the ice can support the weight of that vehicle. Operators are also responsible to operate their vehicles free from intoxicating substances.

Ice safety and weight-bearing properties of ice can be affected by many factors, including: thickness, currents, age of the ice, pressure cracks, snow cover and weather changes. Ice conditions can change dramatically from lake-to-lake and from bay-to-bay.  Recreational vehicles, if operated properly, can provide years of enjoyment for our families, but if not driven properly can have irreversible consequences.  Each operator is the only person who can be part of the solution to the safe operation of any vehicle and the choice of a safe route taken during any excursion.

Proper use of safety equipment can reduce the risks of traveling over ice covered bodies of water. Possibilities include: wearing of survival suits, carrying picks (used to grip ice to pull yourself out of the water), carrying a rescue rope and if possible have another operator with you.  Like any outside sporting activity, it’s always a good idea to let someone know your plans.

“With all the early snow and colder temputures it appears that we have a big head start this year. However the ice is still very unstable and unperdictable so please be patient and wait until the ice becomes thick enough to support recreational vehicles and advert a tragedy from happening.” says Staff Sergeant Kevin Webb Detachment Commander with the Manitoulin OPP.

For information from the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs go to their website at

For further information on ice safety from the Royal Lifesaving Society, visit: