Stay off the Ice

The Sunset Country Snowmobile Club and local OPP have a simple message for snowmobilers in the wake of last Monday’s fatality on Stanjiko-ming Bay.
Stay off the ice.
The local snowmobile club closed all of its groomed trails last Wednesday, club president Jerry Darvell said, even though the accident, which claimed the life of Robert Wayash of Stanjikoming when his machine plunged through the ice, occurred “nowhere” near them.
“There [was] no snow out there but [we’re asking people] to use common sense,” Darvell said Thursday afternoon, adding the decision to close the trails came after he received a phone call from the OPP.
“The trails are unsafe,” he stressed.
“The ice conditions vary from soft to treacherous and people are encouraged to use extreme caution,” Fort Frances OPP S/Sgt. Hugh Dennis stressed Friday morning.
In related news, police recovered the body of a man last week after his snowmachine fell through the ice on the Winnipeg River near Kenora.
That brings the total snowmobile deaths to 37 in Ontario this year–one more than all of last year.
Here are some Tips from “SledSmart,” a program of the Ontario Federation of Snow-mobile Clubs:
Drowning is the leading cause of snowmobile fatalities and riders are encouraged to avoid riding on frozen waters because ice conditions are never considered to be a sure thing.
But if you must cross ice, ask first about the conditions, then stay on the packed or marked trail and don’t stop until you reach the shore.
If you hit slush, don’t let off the throttle. If you are following someone who hits slush, veer off to make your one path.