Group walking on thin ice at B.C. lake sparks warning from RCMP

A group of people seen on top of thin ice at Joffre Lakes on Nov. 10, 2019. (Whistler RCMP)A group of people seen on top of thin ice at Joffre Lakes on Nov. 10, 2019. (Whistler RCMP)
A group of people seen on top of thin ice at Joffre Lakes on Nov. 10, 2019. (Whistler RCMP)A group of people seen on top of thin ice at Joffre Lakes on Nov. 10, 2019. (Whistler RCMP)

Whistler RCMP are urging outdoor enthusiasts to stay off icy lakes, or else risk falling in.

A group of at least seven people was spotted walking on the frozen surface of Joffre Lake near Whistler on Friday, Mounties said in a tweet.

“Please don’t do this. It hasn’t been cold enough and the ice hasn’t got thick enough, it’s not ready yet,” the tweet reads.

Ice must be at least 10 centimetres thick to walk on or used for ice fishing, according to AdventureSmart, a Canadian organization that works to educate people on outdoor safety.

ALSO READ: Woman and dogs fall through ice along Surrey’s Serpentine River

Five people drowned in B.C. while doing winter activities from 2007 to 2016, according to the latest statistics from the B.C. Coroners Service. The data did not specify details surrounding these deaths.

If you fall through the ice, here’s what to do:

  1. Do not panic. Your clothing will trap air and keep you buoyant.
  2. Turn towards the direction you came from and place your hands and arms flat on the unbroken surface.
  3. Kick your feet and try to push yourself up on top of the unbroken ice on your stomach, like a seal.
  4. Once you are lying on top of the ice, don’t stand up. Roll away from the break until you are on solid ice.


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