OPP calls in helicopter for Rice Lake search

The OPP called in a helicopter while responding to reports that snowmobilers had possibly crashed through the ice on Rice Lake Friday (Jan. 17) afternoon.

Officers attended Birdsall Line to speak with the complainants who reportedly saw headlights from two snowmobiles go through the ice near a large pressure crack around 3 p.m. Fire departments from Otonabee-South Monaghan, Asphodel-Norwood and Douro-Dummer Townships as well as Peterborough County Paramedics also attended.

At approximately 3:45pm, the OPP helicopter arrived at scene to conduct a search of the areas around Grasshopper Island and Margaret Island.

There were not any snowmobile tracks found in the area nor did it appear that any snowmobiles had went through the ice. All emergency services cleared the area at approximately 4:30pm.

The OPP offered up the following safety tips if you are considering venturing out on frozen surfaces:

– Check the weather. Avoid ice-related activities on warm or stormy days;

– Check ice conditions. The Lifesaving Society recommends a minimum ice thickness of 10 cm (4 inches) for a single person to walk, ice fish, or cross-country ski on;

– Avoid vehicle travel on ice;

– Never go onto the ice alone. A buddy may be able to rescue you or go for help if necessary;

– Having the proper equipment such as a floater suit, ice picks, a throw line, GPS and/or cellphone are extremely important should you break through the ice surface;

– Responding emergency services do take time to ready and get on scene and there is always a risk of injury or worse to emergency responders; and

– Do not drink alcohol or consume other drugs. Alcohol/drugs impair judgement and reduces your body’s ability to stay warm in cold conditions.

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