(Photo: Snowmobile on Jonathan Pack Street in Stittsville.)
Ottawa Police Service, Ottawa Fire Service and Ottawa Paramedic Service are warning residents to use caution when using snowmobiles this weekend.
Warmer than usual weather this season means that ice has not had the chance to fully solidify.
“We don’t have our typical January winter conditions. As a result, you need to be more cautious; it’s not safe to be on the ice for any purpose and we are asking residents to stay off,” said Cst. Alanna Fong of the Ottawa Police Marine, Dive and Trail Unit.
Ottawa Paramedic Service reminds everyone that even as colder temperatures arrive, no one can judge the thickness of the ice on our rivers, lakes and ponds. Residents should inform someone of their itinerary and carry a basic survival kit (protein bars, flashlight, dry socks and gloves) in a waterproof container, as well as a GPS-enabled cell phone.
“When the temperature becomes warm at this time of year, there is an increased risk that you, or your pets could fall through the ice,” said Gerry Pingitore, Chief of Ottawa Fire Services. “Whether snowmobiling, skiing, walking, or taking part in any other activity, please stay off the ice until it solidifies and never venture onto the ice to save a pet. Call 9-1-1 instead.”
On Jan. 6, two men went through the ice near Kettles Road in Munster Hamlet, pulled out wet and cold by Ottawa Fire Service. On Jan. 1, a 35-year-old man was air lifted to Ottawa hospital from Dunrobin after his snowmobile hit a patch of dirt and he was thrown from the vehicle.
The Ottawa Police Service would like to remind snowmobilers to be prepared and safe while enjoying the snow.
For more information on snowmobile safety, please visit: http://www.ottawapolice.ca/en/safety-and-crime-prevention/snowmobile-safety.asp.