ONTARIO PROVINCIAL POLICE
Members of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) would like to remind all ice surface users that the recent cold winter air has produced an ice surface on many area waterways of unknown thickness.
All ice surface users should check with local information sources before attempting any ice surface travel. If you must travel on the current ice surface conditions wearing proper survival clothing/suit, having a fully charged cell phone along with telling a friend neighbour or family member or your destination is strongly suggested.
The following link has further safety suggestions - http://www.redcross.ca/training-and-certification/swimming-and-water-safety-tips-and-resources/swimming--boating-and-water-safety-tips/ice-safety
When ice forms early it may look safe but it is likely not yet thick, strong or stable enough to support much weight.
Adhering to land-based Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) prescribed trails whenever possible offers the safest snowmobile terrain. They provide many trails that avoid water crossings altogether as well as bridges and culverts to pass over known water crossings safely.
According to the (OFSC) website, there are a limited number of OFSC trails currently open in the North Simcoe area, in the meantime until those trails are open, snowmobile operators are reminded that road travel can be dangerous as other road users may not be expecting snowmobile traffic especially if we receive significant snowfall. For more information please view the following link. http://www.ofsc.on.ca/.
Commercial shipping on the Great Lakes and Georgian Bay continues at this time of year and as such, ice surface users can expect commercial shipping into Midland Bay and its approaches in December and early January 2020 with a possible escort by a coast guard cutter.
Please see the following link for further information https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-coast-guard/news/2019/12/canadian-coast-guard-ready-to-conduct-icebreaking-operations-on-the-great-lakes.html.
Lastly, impaired driving your car and Impaired snowmobiling/ATV/scoot/side-by-side operation anywhere is all the same so please make the right decision and never drive impaired.
Officers will be on snowmobile patrol once the trails are open and will be checking sleds on the trails and at R.I.D.E. check stops looking for Impaired Drivers and also for proof of a valid driver's license, valid vehicle registration and insurance when required. For more information please view the following link.
Snowmobiling and other ice surface activities are great family outdoor events and we wish everyone to have a safe and memorable experience while safely participating in these activities in the Heart of Georgian Bay.