Yesterday, officers from the Kenora Ontario Provincial Police and Treaty 3 Police Service had an extremely cold day of water rescue training in Kenora.
12 officers between the two police departments gathered to participate in training at the Coney Island Bridge Pier. Community Services Officer Jason Canfield explains what the cold water immersion training entails.
âYou actually walk into the water and stay there for a little over a minute. At this point you get out of the water, go to the shore, grab a cotton ball with petroleum jelly on it, and start a fire. All of this shows that you have the ability to survive even in the brutal cold. “
Monday was a low of -20 degrees, with a wind chill of -29 after winds of 16 km / h.
âThere is definitely a little wind blowing today,â added Canfield.
Canfield notes that there has been a recent change for agents in Ontario. Usually, cold water immersion training is separate from any other course, but is now included as a requirement to be a member of an ATV or snowmobile unit.
As the weather continues to cool and the lakes continue to freeze, Canfield says it’s a great time of year to remind the public of ice safety in the area.
âIt’s a bad time of year when people are going out on the ice where they maybe shouldn’t be. We’ve noticed that there are places that are normally wide open that are frozen over, but that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily safe, âCanfield said.
âDefinitely stay away from the ice, especially if you don’t know if it’s safe. Always let people know where you are going. This will help the OPP find you if you find yourself in a bad situation.
In general, the rules for measuring ice thickness are as follows:
3 “(7 cm) (new mirror) – KEEP OFF
4 “(10cm) – suitable for ice fishing, cross-country skiing and walking (approx. 200 pounds)
5 “(12 cm) – suitable for a single snowmobile or ATV (approximately 800 pounds)
8 “- 12” (20 – 30 cm) – suitable for a car, a group of people (approximately 1500 – 2000 pounds)
12 “- 15” (30 – 38 cm) – suitable for a light truck or van
People should always remember that these measurements do not indicate ice safety in all cases.
To ensure safe driving, police say you should:
– Check the thickness and quality of the ice before driving on frozen waterways,
– Keep in mind that ice conditions can vary from day to day, hour to hour and location to location,
– Never travel alone on the ice, at night or while impaired by alcohol or drugs,
– Avoid melted or untraced ice or ice near moving water,
– Wear a floating snowmobile suit and pack ice picks.