OPS warns of ice thaw dangers

OTTAWA – The Ottawa Police Service is reminding residents of the many dangers that may arise as the snow begins to melt.

“Considering the heavy snow fall we received this winter and expected spring time warmer weather, we may see increases in ground water runoff and possible flooding,” said Ottawa Police Marine, Dive and Trails Unit (MDT) Sgt. Nelson Rowan. “Historic ice thaw patterns can be affected by the quick run off.

The MDT Unit is offering safety advice to keep Ottawa residents out of danger:

  • Ice is inherently dangerous at this time of year and is always unpredictable. Stay away from open bodies of water.
  • Always supervise children playing outside who may wander or want to play near rivers, ponds, creeks or ditches etc. A child can drown in less than two inches of water.
  • Less than three inches of ice thickness is a hazardous environment.
  • Falling into water at this time of year can lead to hypothermia and death.
  • Cold water temperatures at this time of year can prevent even strong swimmers from escaping once they’ve fallen through the ice.\
  • If snowmobiling, stay safe on the trails and away from water or thin ice. Over half of drownings related to snowmobiling occur after dark and consumption of alcohol and/or drugs continues to be a contributing factor in snowmobiling related drownings.

Ottawa Police reminds everyone to remain vigilant when outside near area waterways as we expect increased temperatures this week.