4 skaters fell into the ice in Banff in the past 2 days


Parks Canada is warning skaters going to frozen lakes to monitor the thickness of the lake very carefully after four skaters fell through the ice at Lake Minnewanka in Banff National Park over a two-day period.

According to the government agency, three of the skaters were able to save themselves, while another needed rescue intervention.

Russ Geyer, deputy chief of the Banff Fire Department, said the service responded to a report on Saturday of two people falling through the ice at Lake Minnewanka.

Geyer said a woman in her 20s fell through the ice while skating.

“She was stuck on thin ice, was probably there for 30 minutes in the water, or partially in the water,” he said. “Then a man who was with her in his twenties tried to save her, and he ended up breaking the thin ice.”

People have been skating in areas near the shore of Lake Minnewanka for the past month, Geyer said.

“Unfortunately, further into the lake some of that water is open,” Geyer said. “People are venturing further and further and this ice is certainly not safe enough further. And that’s unfortunately the consequence when they skated there.”

The woman was taken to Banff Mineral Springs Hospital with hypothermia and the man was examined and released at the scene.

No information on the other skaters was immediately available.

Parks Canada said skaters should understand that ice thickness varies greatly over short distances. The recommended minimum thickness for ice skating is 15 centimeters, or six inches of solid ice.

Skaters should have equipment like ropes, PFDs or ice picks available for self-rescue, the agency said.


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