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Firefighters called after people spotted walking on the ice on Long Lake in Nanaimo

Fire department warns against walking or skating on Nanaimo’s frozen lakes
Nanaimo firefighters were called to Long Lake after a report of people walking on the lake’s frozen surface the afternoon of Sunday, Jan. 9. Firefighters could see people walking on the far side of the lake but weren’t able to locate them after driving over there. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

Nanaimo Fire Rescue and the City of Nanaimo are warning people not to walk out on the frozen surfaces of local lakes.

Firefighters were called out the afternoon of Sunday, Jan. 9, after people were spotted walking on the ice covering Long Lake.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue said so far this winter, no one has fallen through ice, but added that conditions for walking out on the frozen surfaces on lakes are unsafe.

“We’ve had just the one incident so far that’s been reported to us,” said Stu Kenning, Nanaimo Fire Rescue assistant chief operations. “It was sort of a non-event. They were off the ice before [firefighters] got there and … we couldn’t even track them down.”

Kenning said the message from the fire department and the city is don’t go on the ice.

“Don’t walk or skate on the ice,” he said. “We don’t check it. We don’t know how thick it is and the thickness changes in different places.”

Signs warning about the dangers of attempting to walk on ice are posted at city parks.

Kenning said in past years, most calls involving mishaps on ice have involved pets, especially those that have set out across frozen lake after ducks or geese.

READ ALSO: Last month was one of the coldest Decembers on record in Nanaimo

READ ALSO: Group walking on thin ice at B.C. lake sparks warning from RCMP

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Chris Bush

About the Author: Chris Bush

As a photographer/reporter with the Nanaimo News Bulletin since 1998.
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