As the bodies of water around the region crust over with the cold, more and more adventurers can be seen on them: skating, fishing, and walking. But the ice on lakes and rivers can be unpredictable.
The Hamilton police marine unit is responsible for rescuing people who fall through the ice, the officers’ mantra is no ice is safe ice. In 2017 Hamilton police were called to perform two ice rescues, both in February.
“When your body is immersed in that water there’s going to be an immediate physiological response to gasp for air. If you gasp for air when your face is under water, not a good thing.”
Constable Marty Bushell says the most common ice emergency happens when people walk near the ice with their dogs off-leash, then the dogs see a flock of geese and while the ice is thick enough to support the birds, it’s not thick enough for the dog or the owner who usually goes after the dog.
Police say there’s no law against going out onto a frozen lake or river but the poor decisions people make keep police busy.