Following a stint of cold weather, Kamloops Fire Rescue is warning people not to venture onto frozen sections of the North Thompson and South Thompson rivers. In a press release, KFR noted a recent cold snap caused sections of the river to freeze and are dangerous to the public.
River ice is deemed unpredictable because of water currents beneath the ice.
“The ice could be very thick or extremely thing, but it will often look the same from the surface,” the press release states.
The public is also being asked to keep a close eye on pets. KFR responds each year to reports of pets falling through the ice, often because the pet had chased after wildlife or another pet.
“Occasionally, we have to rescue pet owners when they attempt to go after their pets and end up falling through themselves,” KFR public fire and life safety educator, Jamie Chase, said in the press release.
Chase advised against following a pet onto the ice and instead calling 911.
Some other tips, should you fall through the ice or witness a person fall through the ice:
• Stay calm and try to keep your head out of the water and control your breathing;
• call for help and keep your hands on the ice shelf;
• try to pull yourself up on the ice on your stomach and roll toward the shore, where ice may be thicker;
• if you can’t get out of the water in less than 10 minutes, stop kicking and trying to pull yourself out and anchor yourself to the ice shelf, whilst continuing to call for help;
• if you witness someone fall through the ice, stay back and call 911 for help;
• if the person does get out of the water, on to the ice or the shore, reach or throw an aid such as a branch or rope to the person. Do not approach, but allow professional help to assist.