Be cautious near lakes, rivers

Just days after two men suffered life-threatening hypothermia when their vehicle fell through the ice, police are reminding residents that warmer weather will create unpredictable ice conditions on local lakes and rivers.

York Regional Police came across a man in distress at the side of the road at Jackson’s Point in the Town of Georgina at about 2 a.m. on Feb. 22. He was one of two men who escaped a vehicle after it fell through ice. Both men were taken to hospital. The police service’s Underwater Recover Team assisted with removal of the truck.

“No ice is ever completely safe,” police say. “Any individual enjoying recreational activities near a body of water must make a personal decision to do so, realizing that there is a degree of risk associated with that choice. It is crucial that citizens take individual responsibility in evaluating the quality of ice.”

If you’re enjoying outdoor activities near bodies of water, police suggest ensuring you’re wearing proper clothing and an approved personal flotation device; keeping children away from fast-flowing rivers and streams; telling someone where you will be, where you parked your vehicle and what time you expect to return; carrying a cell phone with a fully-charged battery in the event of an emergency; being cautious of your footing around banks of rivers and streams; and always being prepared for the unexpected.

For information and more safety tips, contact the York Regional Police Marine Unit at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 7321, or visit the York Regional Police website at www.yrp.ca.

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