Ice on top of Sylvan Lake is still not safe for standing, the town said in a Facebook post this week. Photo by BLACK PRESS NEWS SERVICES

Sylvan Lake ice surface not safe yet, says town

The Town of Sylvan Lake is warning residents the ice over the lake is not yet safe for standing on.

“Please avoid until we receive some cooler temperatures,” the town said in a Facebook post Monday.

This past weekend, a Calgary man died during a fishing trip after falling through the ice at Little Bow Provincial Park, about 40 kilometres from Vulcan in southern Alberta.

Vulcan RCMP say two men were on the ice fishing. One man fell through the ice and his partner tried to rescue him, but went through the ice as well.

A nearby third man threw the two a rope and managed to rescue one of the fishermen. They weren’t able to get the other man out.

The 59-year-old Calgary man was retrieved by the fire department, who brought him to shore. He was taken to a local hospital, but did not survive.

The Sylvan Lake Fire Department has tips regarding ice safety on the town’s website.

“Be cautious when walking on ice-covered lakes or ponds. It is difficult to assess if the ice will be thick enough to hold the weight of a person or animal,” the department said on

Ice should be 15 centimetres thick for walking or skating along, 20 centimetres thick for skating parties or games and 25 centimetres for snowmobiles.

If a person or animal falls through ice into water, you’re advised to call 911 – do not attempt to rescue them yourself.

Anyone who falls through the ice should stay calm, control their breathing, keep their head above water and shout for help.

To get out of the water, the fire department says they should keep their hands on the ice shelf, kick their legs, and try to pull themselves onto the ice and onto their stomach.

Once out of the water, they should roll toward the shore, where the ice might be thicker.

Anyone who can’t get out of the water in less than 10 minutes should stop kicking and trying to pull themselves out. They should instead anchor themselves to the ice shelf and continue to shout for help.

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