Think Twice – Thin Ice

lacbrochet1Ice Safety Tips

  • Check the weather. Cold weather does not necessarily mean solid ice. A sudden drop in air temperature can actually create cracks in the ice.
  • Have trained people test ice thickness.
  • Never go onto the ice alone, and avoid vehicle travel on ice whenever possible.
  • Before you leave shore, inform someone of your destination and expected time of return.
  • Carry proper ice safety equipment, like buoyant suits, lifejackets or PFDs, ice picks, ice poles, and rope.
  • Avoid going on ice at night and on warm or stormy days.

For more Ice Safety tips, visit the Lifesaving Society’s Winter and Safety page.


The 1-10-1 Principle from Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht

University of Manitoba professor Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht developed the 1-10-1 principle, which explains what happens in the first few minutes following cold water immersion. Based on the principle, people will experience about 1 minute of cold water shock, including gasping. It’s important to avoid panicking. Following that, people have about 10 minutes of meaningful movement before the cold water stars affecting the body’s ability to move. During this time, try to perform self-rescue methods. Finally, hypothermia will set in after about 1 hour of being in cold water. The first few minutes of cold water immersion are extremely important, as is prevention.  Wear a lifejacket or PFD when near ice. Learn more!