The Water Security Agency is reminding the public about safety concerns when travelling on ice.

The agency put out a media release on Monday speaking to the importance of ensuring that ice is thick enough to safely walk, drive, or snowmobile on.

Jeremy Cockrill, Minister Responsible for the Water Security Agency, said that the agency is recommending people check the thickness of the ice each time to ensure safety.

“We recommend checking ice thickness each and every time you venture on our provincial waters to ensure you are safe this winter,” said Cockrill.

The Water Security Agency also stated that ice thickness can be deceptive and unpredictable at times, does not freeze at a uniform thickness, and that its strength can vary considerably from one area to another.

Patrick Boyle of the Water Security Agency said that there are visual signs people can look out for to know if the ice is unsafe.

“It’s important to remember every site is different, even if you were there the day before. It’s always important to check and use those guidelines, but avoid an area that looks slushy, that’s thawed and frozen again, any open water, sudden temperature changes, or things like that.” 

The water security official also said this is the time of year when they see a lot of incidents related to ice.

“This time of year is when we see a lot of them because it’s the start of the winter season and there hasn’t been enough cold to get thick ice in a lot of different areas.”

Boyle also talked about the importance of knowing the ice thickness and how some parts of southern Saskatchewan have received a lot of snow but may not have a high level of thickness yet.

“Some areas, particularly in southern parts of Saskatchewan, have seen a lot of snow already but maybe don’t have that ice thickness, so it’s very important to pay attention to it here before we really hit those colder temperatures.”

The Water Security Agency is advising that you need at least 10 cm of ice to walk on, 20 cm to drive a snowmobile or ATV on, 30 cm to drive a car or light truck on, and more than 30 cm to support a heavy truck.