On December 26, 2020, shortly after 1:33 p.m., members from the East Algoma Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Algoma District Paramedic Services, and the Spanish Fire Department responded to a person that went through the ice with his snowmobile in Vance Bay, Lake Huron near the Town of Spanish. The 23-year-old snowmobiler was in the water for approximately 15 minutes before being rescued by a friend and two other civilians fishing in the area. The person was transported to local hospital in Blind River for hyperthermia. The Ministry of Environment was notified of the snowmobile resting on the lake bed in approximately 30 to 40 feet of water.
The OPP is warning snowmobilers that recent and current mild conditions have not helped with ice conditions and not taking the necessary precautions can quickly result in tragedy. No ice is “safe ice”. Underlying water currents or air pockets can create thin ice, even in the coldest temperatures. Snowmobilers can’t see this until it’s too late.