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The Lanark County Detachment of the OPP has a message for everyone after a close call on Mississippi Lake, near Carleton Place. Please stay off the ice unless you are absolutely certain of its thickness.

On January 1, 2021, shortly before 8:00 p.m., the Lanark OPP, OPP Emergency Response Team (ERT), Beckwith Fire Department, Drummond/North Elmsley Tay Valley Fire Rescue and Lanark County Paramedics responded to a report that two people had fallen through the ice near the 9th Line of Beckwith Township.

A 26-year old male had managed to pull himself out. A 57-year old male had attempted to climb onto the ice several times, only to fall through again. He was trapped in the water, with the other male struggling to prevent the victim from going under.

While Beckwith Firefighters used a rescue boat, OPP ERT members had their Remotely Piloted Aerial System (drone) hovering above the site to provide a spotlight. Firefighters brought the 57-year-old to shore and he was transported to hospital by paramedics. Both men will recover from their ordeal.

While the ice may look tempting for ice fishing or other activities, PLEASE make the safe decision to STAY OFF. The temperatures have been erratic this winter and most ice is not thick enough to safely support people, much less snowmobiles. Don’t put your own life and the lives of first responders at risk.

If you do venture out, proper use of safety equipment can reduce the risks of traveling over ice-covered bodies of water. Possibilities include: wearing of survival suits, carrying picks (used to grip ice to pull yourself out of the water) and carrying a rescue rope.

For further information on ice safety from the Royal Lifesaving Society, visit: http://www.lifesaving.ca/main.php?lang=english&cat=watersafety&sub=ice