Report of man falling through ice prompts warning from Kelowna RCMP

Man gets to shore safely, but police say recent ice thaw has made walking on local lakes too risky.

The case of a Shannon Lake resident who believed he saw a man fall into through the ice of the lake Tuesday morning serves as a reminder to avoid walking onto local lakes, which have already begun to thaw.

“It is clear that the recent warming trend and rain has contributed to the ice thaw on local lakes, especially at lower elevations,” said Const. Steve Holmes. “Police and emergency services are therefore reminding people to not go out onto local ice covered lakes, no matter how stable they believe the ice to be. It is not worth the risk to themselves and others.”

The incident that prompted the reminder unfolded around 10:15 a.m. on Tuesday when an area resident saw a man dressed in yellow standing on the ice. The resident turned his attention elsewhere for a few moments, and when he looked out over the lake again, the man had disappeared and the resident believed he had fallen through the ice.

Emergency crews were called in and soon after they began looking for the man in the water, they were approached by a man who said he was the person they were looking for.

“The man, in his 70s and wearing a yellow survival suit, explained that he went out on the ice and found it to be unstable to walk on, so he lay down on his back and pushed his way back to shore,” said Holmes. “It was likely during that time that the caller did not see the man and believed he had fallen through the ice, and called police.”

Emergency crews called out to the rescue noted the ice on Shannon Lake is very soft and unstable and extremely unsafe to be walking on, Holmes added.