Walk­ing on thin ice

Po­lice ad­vise as­sess­ing risks be­fore recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties

The News (New Glasgow) - - PICTOU COUNTY - BY KENT MAC­DON­ALD

As tempt­ing as it may be to step out on the ice-cov­ered East River in New Glas­gow, po­lice ad­vise against it.

“Noth­ing on the East River is mon­i­tored,” says Const. Ken Mac­Don­ald of the New Glas­gow Re­gional Po­lice.

There are sev­eral fac­tors that make ice on the river un­pre­dictable, in­clud­ing runoffs, salt from roads, the tidal salt-fresh flux and the ris­ing tides.

When it comes to other bod­ies of water such as back­yard ponds, Mac­Don­ald says po­lice use the Cana­dian Red Cross guide when it comes to judg­ing the win­ter dan­gers.

“We need to take ex­treme cau­tion and re­al­ize the water depths and the min­i­mum ice thick­ness alone is 15 cen­time­tres for walk­ing or skat­ing,” he said.

For groups, he said it is 20 cen­time­tres and for sin­gle snow­mo­biles its 25 cen­time­tres. For nor­mal bod­ies of water, be­cause of tem­per­a­ture fluc­tu­a­tions, you have to be in­creas­ingly cau­tious at all times, he said.

“We do not post that the East River is safe for skat­ing or snow­mo­biles be­cause it is not mon­i­tored.”

Mac­Don­ald said the New Glas­gow Fire and Res­cue De­part­ment has spe­cific equip­ment in their ve­hi­cles that helps peo­ple get pulled out of ice. 911 is the No. 1 op­tion if you see that some­one has fallen through the ice.

Some safe places to skate out­doors with­out the risk of break­ing ice in­clude New Glas­gow’s West Side Com­mu­nity Cen­tre and the North End Rec Cen­tre which both have built out­door rinks.


Jeremy Horne spends some time skat­ing with his son Drum­mond, 3, at the West Side Com­mu­nity Cen­tre in New Glas­gow.

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