Skip to main content

Boreal Community Media

Ontario Provincial Police remind snowmobilers to 'plan ahead,' to avoid dangerous slush conditions

Feb 27, 2019 04:37PM ● By Editor
OPP is advising the public to plan ahead before going snowmobiling as they have received a surge of calls for help from stranded sledders on local lakes. Photo:  Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC 

From CBC News · February 27, 2019

Ontario Provincial Police in Thunder Bay, Ont., are advising the public to plan ahead before heading out for a recreational snowmobile trip.

According to a written release issued on Tuesday, in the past few weeks there has been a surge in calls for help from stranded sledders on local lakes.

Police said substantial snowfall this winter has produced extreme slush conditions wreaking havoc on area lakes.

And with the drastic drop in temperature during the night, getting stuck in slush could quickly become a life and death situation.

Here are some ways you can plan ahead:

  • Check ice conditions on the route you are taking and avoid unknown lakes.
  • Ensure you have a charged cell phone and an extra power supply. Make sure to keep them warm in your 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 and water.
  • If you get stuck, monitor your body for signs of hypothermia.

The OPP is also encouraging snowmobilers to adhere to Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs trails, as these remain the safest areas to ride on.

Boreal Ship Spotter - larger view here