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False alarm prompts warning to stay off thin ice

A report of two children falling through the ice on Lake Windermere ice has the RDEK urging residents to use caution around frozen bodies of water.

The warning comes after a 9-1-1 call on Thursday afternoon had emergency responders on the scene near Kinsmen Beach.

“We responded with our Hovercraft and Rescue Truck along with 10 firefighters who are trained in ice rescue,” said Columbia Valley Rural Fire & Rescue Service Assistant Chief, Joss Advocaat. “After launching the Hovercraft, doing a detailed assessment of the site, and following up with the caller, it was determined that while two children had been playing on the ice, they had not fallen through.”

Invermere and Windermere fire departments were on the scene, along with backup from Columbia Valley RCMP, Search and Rescue and the BC Ambulance Service.

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“While today’s call is obviously the best outcome, it underlines the importance of making sure everyone is aware that the ice is breaking up on local lakes and is getting dangerous,” said Advocaat.

The Windermere Fire Department said the warming weather and melting ice pose a danger on local lakes and other bodies of water.

“It is that time of year when conditions can rapidly change on local lakes and ice can become unsafe and unpredictable,” said Advocaat. “We are urging residents to use extreme caution in and around ice.”

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