First responders urge caution around thin ice conditions on waterways


November 18, 2022 1:51 pm

Winnipeg, MB – As temperatures drop and ice begins to form, the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) and Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) urge residents to use extreme caution around all Winnipeg waterways.

Ice surfaces are thin and fragile and falling into ice-cold water can be deadly. Parents and teachers are encouraged to speak to children and students about the dangers of thin ice. Dog owners should keep dogs on leashes around the ice to prevent them from chasing geese onto thin ice surfaces. 

“All rivers, streams, ditches and retention ponds within Winnipeg should be considered unsafe at this time,” said Assistant Chief Scott Wilkinson, Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS). “We want all residents to stay away from these surfaces and their banks.” 

Residents are also reminded that while the WPS River Patrol Unit places “Danger - Thin Ice” signage at specific locations including outfalls, retention ponds and other potentially dangerous areas  all bodies of water should be considered unsafe, even if warning signage is not present.

“Avoid areas marked with "Danger Thin Ice" signs, as these are known areas of danger, but falling through any ice-covered body of water could cost you your life. Please take our advice and stay off the ice,” said Ray Duma, Winnipeg Police Service River Patrol Officer. “

Each year, the WFPS responds to approximately 150 water and ice safety calls for service.

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