On March 10, 2022 members of the Hornepayne Detachment of the Superior East Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to a call of two overdue snowmobilers on Saunders Lake, located 40 km north of White River, near Highway 631. Officers located the riders, whose snowmobiles had been stuck in deep slush for several hours. Police assisted with removing their machines from the slush and getting the riders safely back to shore. Luckily, no injuries were sustained during the incident.
The Superior East OPP is reminding the public to be extra cautious when snowmobiling on waterways this time of year. While the ice is still very thick – approximately 24 inches thick on Saunders Lake – it can be hazardous. Warm weather causes an accumulation of slush, which on its own can be dangerous. However, when that slush is covered with fresh snow, it can make the ice appear safe to travel on. Often, riders will not realize the danger until they stop, and are unable to move again. Adding to the risk is the fact that many of our lakes and rivers are in isolated areas, making it difficult for first responders or passersby to provide assistance.
Snowmobile safety is an important component of the OPP’s Provincial Traffic Safety Program. We want to ensure that snowmobiling remains a safe and fun recreational activity in Ontario. Please appreciate the added dangers of snowmobiling on lakes and rivers, especially late in the season. And remember: NO ICE IS SAFE ICE.
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