The Ontario Provincial Police is advising the public to plan ahead when it comes to recreational snowmobiling. In the past few weeks there has been a surge in calls for help from stranded sledders on local lakes. The substantial snowfall this winter has produced extreme slush conditions wreaking havoc on area lakes. There are a number of concerns in regards to these types of calls including location and time. With the drastic drop in temperatures during the night, getting stuck in slush could quickly become a life and death situation.
If you are going sledding, please plan ahead.
- Check ice conditions on the route you are taking, avoid unknown lakes.
- Ensure you have a charged cell phone and an extra power supply. Keep them in a warm pocket.
- Stay on approved trails and don’t venture into unknown areas.
- Avoid alcohol consumption while sledding.
- Always travel in pairs, never alone.
- Dress in layers and bring an extra set of mitts/socks.
- Always carry an axe and small shovel in case of an emergency.
- Bring a lighter and paper in your backpack.
- Advise someone of your plans and when you will be back.
- Try not to travel at night and reduce your speed.
- Bring snacks (granola bars) and water
- If you get stuck, monitor your body for signs of hypothermia
The OPP encourages snowmobilers to adhere to OFSC trails, as these remain the safest areas to ride on. The OPP remains committed to ensuring that snowmobiling remains a safe recreational activity in Ontario.
Editor’s Note – This media release was from Thunder Bay OPP.