Make ‘educated choices’, say police, after man dies following frozen Lake Simcoe ATV accident

A male has died after falling through the ice while riding an ATV on the southern shore of Lake Simcoe over the weekend.

The accident happened on Saturday at Duclos Point, which is roughly 20 kilometres east of the Town of Georgina.

York Regional Police (YRP) said that the victim was one of two males who were rescued after falling through the ice while riding an all-terrain vehicle. They said that he later suffered a medical emergency and was pronounced deceased.

It is just the latest in a series of incidents involving individuals following through the ice on Lake Simcoe while using recreational vehicles.

Just days earlier, on Jan. 31, the marine unit was also called to help another male who fell through the ice while riding an ATV near Thorah Island, which is about four kilometres west of Beaverton. He was rescued and treated for minor injuries, police said.

On Jan. 26, police were also called to Duclos Point after a man on a snowmobile fell through the ice. He was able to pull himself out of the water and called a friend for help, police said in a news release. The friend arrived on another snowmobile and as they headed back to the shore it also fell through the ice. The Marine Unit was dispatched to the scene and rescued both males, who suffered minor injuries.

These several recent incidents have prompted YRP to issue an “urgent warning” to the public about the conditions on Lake Simcoe.

Police noted that the thickness of the ice on the lake can vary based on the currents below the surface and the temperatures above may result in the formation of uneven cracks and “hazardous obstacles for snowmobilers.”

People are being advised to check with local ice hut operators for information on the latest ice conditions before heading out and are urged to make “educated choices” to prevent accidents.

“Each year, members of the Marine Unit respond to calls of people, vehicles and pets that have fallen through the ice. Citizens are reminded to keep pets and children away from all ice surfaces during times when the temperature is rising and the ice is melting,” police said in a press release.

“Remember: No surface of ice or body of water is ever completely safe. It is crucial that citizens take individual responsibility in evaluating the dangers of any recreational activity.”

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