Don’t get caught on thin ice

LITTLE CURRENT–The Manitoulin-Espanola detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is reminding snowmobilers to ride safely for an enjoyable winter season. Snowmobiling is one of the joys of a Canadian winter. However, not taking the necessary precautions can quickly result in tragedy.

No ice is “safe ice.” Underlying water currents or air pockets can create thin ice, even in the coldest temperatures. Snowmobilers can’t see this until it’s too late. There were nine ice-related deaths during the 2016-17 snowmobile season. To put that number into perspective, there were only eight such deaths in the last five seasons combined. 

Last season was a 15-year high in overall snowmobile deaths. A total of 27 people did not make it home to their families after heading out for a snowmobile ride.

Speed, alcohol/drug consumption, riding on unsafe ice, losing control, and other poor decisions accounted for the majority of the fatalities. These factors change very little from year to year. 

The OPP is committed to saving lives on Ontario’s highways, trails and waterways through high visibility patrols and enforcement in order to reduce preventable injuries and death. The Manitoulin-Espanola OPP will continue their snow vehicle patrols throughout the season to ensure the safety of all snowmobile operators and passengers. 

Detachment Commander Kevin Webb of the Manitoulin-Espanola OPP,would like to remind everyone that, “snowmobiling can be a great way to enjoy the winter season, but before you go out, have a plan, drive sober and be safe!”

For further information on safe snowmobiling and trails in Ontario, please see the OFSC or OPP websites at:  or