Kelowna Fire Department on staying safe around ice

Keeping safe around the ice

As the temperature remain well below freezing, ice is starting to form on area lakes and waterways.

While it may be tempting to go for a skate, the Kelowna Fire Department is recommending you don't.

"One of the biggest things is to never assume that the ice can hold our weight. We are going to have different ice conditions based on the depth of the water, turbidity in the water," said Kelowna Fire Department ice rescue trainer Shawn Wudrich.

Wudrich says residents should never venture onto the ice alone.

"Right now is a tough time because we have gone through a cold snap, but as we start to warm up again the snow that we have on top of the ice will create something that we call snow ice. When we have a really good cold snap what we get is this really nice clear ice. That is our strongest ice. Then we will get snow on top and then we start to get melt and that snow ice starts to trickle down and fuse with that other ice and it is quite a bit weaker," Wudrich added.

If someone does fall through the ice, Wudrich says its best to try and make it back the way you came from where you fell through.

"The ice was thick enough to support you up to that point. Get your arms up onto the ice and kick your legs to help you get horizontal and pull yourself up with your arms. If you can get out of the water, roll away. That helps to disperse your weight until you get back to land," he added.

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