Ice Safety

Released: April 10, 2024 at 1:10 p.m.

As temperatures rise, the Winnipeg Police service wants to remind everyone to stay off open waterways.

Ice water Safety

  • Drowning can occur at any time of the year
  • Every year 1/3 of all drownings in Manitoba occur during the colder months, between October and April.
  • Blue ice is clear and strong and the safest ice of all. The color of ice deepens with increasing thickness.
  • You can only survive a few minutes in cold water


  • Check the weather and avoid going on thin ice on warm or stormy days
  • Avoid vehicle travel on ice whenever possible
  • Never go on ice alone
  • Wear a buoyant suit or lifejacket whenever you are on the ice
  • Avoid going on ice at night
  • Keep away from unfamiliar paths or unknown ice
  • Carry ice picks, ice poles, and a rope

What to do if you break through the ice?

  • Don't panic - the clothes you're wearing will trap air and keep you buoyant.
  • Turn toward the direction you came from and place your hands and arms on the unbroken surface.
  • Kick your feet and try to push yourself forward on top of the unbroken ice on your stomach like a seal.
  • Once you are lying on the ice, don't stand up. Roll away from the break until you're on solid ice.

 For additional information, watch this short video

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