At Friday Harbour Resort, we want to ensure that everyone has a safe winter while enjoying all the wonder of the winter months. It’s important to stay safe and be aware of the potential hazards and risks during this season. While any access to the Marina ice at Friday Harbour is strictly prohibited, you can enjoy the frozen lakes while exercising precaution.
If you are participating in ice activities, here are some helpful tips:
1. Always check ice thickness before venturing out.
2. Check reported conditions. Before you head onto any ice, check for known ice conditions, thin ice areas or dangerous open water conditions.
3. Avoid travelling on ice at night. Clear hard ice is the only kind of ice recommended for travel; keep away from unfamiliar paths or unknown ice.
4. Bundle up. Wear appropriate clothing and equipment for safety and comfort. A thermal protection buoyant suit or a lifejacket/PFD worn over winter clothing will increase your level of safety if you fall through the ice.
5. Never go on the ice alone. A buddy may be able to rescue you or go for help if you get into difficulty.
6. Before you venture out. Before you leave shore, inform someone of your destination and expected time of return.
Rescuing another person from the ice can be dangerous and the safest way to perform a rescue is from the shore. With some awareness tips and the links below, you can enjoy all that winter has to offer. Here are some tips on how to respond if you do find someone in distress on the ice:
What to instruct the person to do if you hear the ice crack:
- Lay down on the ice
- Call for help loudly and clearly
- Crawl or roll back to land
- Float on your stomach facing the shore
- Reach forward onto the ice; do not push down on it
- Kick your legs to slowly push your torso onto the ice
- Crawl or roll away from the hole
- If you can’t climb onto the ice, float in the water and call for help
What you can do to help the person in distress on the ice: Preach, Reach and Throw
PREACH ‑ Shout to the victim to encourage them and reassure them that help is on the way.
REACH ‑ If you can safely reach the victim from shore, extend an object such as a rope, ladder, or jumper cables to the victim. If the person starts to pull you in, release your grip on the object and start over.
THROW ‑ Toss one end of a rope or something similar that will float to the victim. Have them tie the rope around themselves before they are too weakened by the cold to grasp it.
Remember reach, throw…but do not go!
If the situation is too dangerous for you to perform the rescue, call 911 and contact Friday Harbour Security at 705-812-8880 for help and keep reassuring the victim that help is on the way and urge them to fight to survive.
For more information on ice safety: