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Ice & Snowmobiling

Drowning is one of the leading causes of snowmobile fatalities. Wherever possible, avoid riding on frozen lakes and rivers because ice conditions are never a safe bet. Ice conditions can change in a period of several hours. If you must cross ice, ask first, then stay on the packed or marked OFSC prescribed Trail. Don't stop until you reach shore. If you hit slush, don't let off the throttle. If you are following someone who hits slush, veer off to make your own path. If you must travel over lakes and rivers then consider using a buoyant snowmobile suit which will assist you to reach the closest ice surface. Also consider carrying a set of picks which will help you grip the edge of the ice more easily. As a rule of thumb, "If you don't know, don't go."

If you do break through the ice, don't panic. Follow these self rescue tips:

  • Kick vigorously into a horizontal position and swim to the nearest ice edge.
  • Place hands/arms on unbroken ice while kicking hard to propel your body onto the ice, like a seal.
  • Once clear, stay flat and roll away to stronger ice.
  • Stand, keep moving and find shelter fast.

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