Two separate thin ice rescues had Kimberley Search and Rescue active over the weekend.
On Friday, crews were dispatched to Moyie Lake to rescue two people and a dog who fell through the ice.
“When we have contact with patients, we hand them off to the B.C. Ambulance service who usually takes them to the hospital,” said a spokesperson for Kimberley SAR. “Sometimes we hear about the outcomes of patients, often we don’t, what we can say is that we had people who went through the ice, and they were in bad shape when we brought them out.”
According to SAR officials, a bystander attempted to save the first person who fell through the ice.
“Don’t do that. Dial 9-1-1 with coordinates of where you are, right away. Don’t wait and don’t try your own rescue or we’re going to end up rescuing more people,” said the SAR spokesperson.
On Sunday, Kimberley SAR crews were sent out again when two people fell through thin ice on Premier Lake.
“The ice right now is really weak and it’s highly deceptive because it looks thick enough, and parts of it are okay, but a foot away it’s not. You can’t predict what will hold you and what will not.” explained the SAR spokesperson. “We’ve had this freeze-thaw cycle and it has created layered ice and crystals that are extremely weak.”
“That water is really, really cold and you do not have much time when you hit the water to get out. And with rotten ice, you can’t get out.”
Rotten ice is a term used to describe ice that is structurally unsound due to melting, air pockets or debris trapped inside.
Kimberley RCMP said the two men rode out into the ice on a quad when it broke through about 15 feet from shore.
Police officials said one man died.
The SAR spokesperson urges you to stay off the ice as temperatures warm up.
According to Kimberley SAR, ice that is seven centimetres thick or less will not be enough to support a person’s weight.