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Ontario Provincial Police say ‘stay off the ice’

Global News logo Global News 2019-01-05 Mike Postovit
a body of water: Ontario Provincial Police are warning the public about heading out on thin ice. © mike postovit/corus entertainment Ontario Provincial Police are warning the public about heading out on thin ice.

The recent snowfall has prompted many people to get outside and take advantage of the winter weather. With fast-changing temperatures, police are warning people not to venture onto the ice.

Constable Sean McCaffrey is with the OPP East Region SAVE Team, a group dedicated to ensuring Ontario trails and frozen waterways are a safe place for all. McCaffrey says the message is simple.

"We've always said no ice is safe ice, so we're never officially going to tell you that the ice is safe to go on. And the latest phrase that we've started using is 'If in doubt, don't go out,' and that's exactly what it means."

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McCaffrey believes climate change is causing some of the problems and the ice we knew when we were younger no longer exists. He says every day and every hour the ice is changing so people have to be aware. And while they don't encourage it, McCaffrey says if you "must" go out on the ice, there are a number of safety tips you should follow.

"First and foremost never go out alone, so ideally you want to be with someone local that has local knowledge, who's aware of the ice, ideally a guide or something like that. When you're out there we encourage you to have things such as a compass, a map, a GPS, so you know where you are at all times."

MORE:Lifesaving rescue mission: Emergency crews prepare for thin ice

McCaffrey also says heading out on the ice and alcohol don't mix. In fact, not only does alcohol impair your judgment and your ability to think clearly, it actually increases and speeds up the effects of hypothermia.

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