Nanton Fire Department: Ice Safety

Nanton Fire Department: Ice Safety

Living in the Foothills gives us all the opportunity for winter activities like snowmobiling and ice fishing. But do you know when the ice is too thin or what to do if you, or a buddy breaks through?

Ice Depth Activity

7 cm (3 in) or less STAY OFF
10cm (4 in) ice fishing, walking, cross country skiing
12cm (5 in) one snowmobile or ATV
20-30cm (8-12 in) one car or small pickup
30-38cm (12-15 in) one medium truck (pickup or van)


Do not panic. Your clothing will trap air and keep you buoyant.
Turn towards the direction you came from and place your hands and arms flat on the unbroken surface.
Kick your feet and try to push yourself up on top of the unbroken ice on your stomach, like a seal.
Once you are lying on the ice, don’t stand up. Roll away from the break until you are on solid ice.


Stay calm and think out a solution.
Don’t run up to the hole. You might break through and then you’ll both need help.
Use an item to throw or extend to your friend to pull them out of the water – if you don’t have a rope, improvise with items such as jumper cables, skis, etc.
If you can’t rescue your buddy immediately, call 911 on a cell phone.