Iceholes beware
New Web site will report ice conditions

Cindy MacDougall
Northern News Services

NNSL (Oct 29/99) - Two local Internet companies have donated their time and computer space to set up an ice safety Web site.

David Nicholson of Webnautics, a Web page design company in Yellowknife, said the idea of an ice-safety site popped into his head while he was driving by the fire department.

"I looked at the department's ice conditions sign and thought, 'hey, that would make a great Web site,'" he said.

Nicholson contacted deputy fire chief Mike Lowing and Jeremy Childs of SSI Micro to set up the site.

Lowing said the Internet is the perfect way to reach recreational ice-users.

"We get a lot of phone calls at the fire department about ice conditions," he said.

"This way, people can check ice thickness, as well as safety information."

Lowing said the Web site will be up and running next week, once it is safe enough for the firefighters to start checking the ice.

Until then, he said everyone should stay off the ice on any lake.

"This is a dangerous time to be on the ice," he said, "because it looks frozen over but may be very unstable."

Lowing said they've already had some close calls. A man aided by firefighters fell through the ice on Frame Lake Tuesday afternoon.

"We've chased a few kids off the ice, and talked one-on-one with them about how dangerous it is," he said. And one dog owner fell through while trying to save his pet."

Nicholson designed the site, and SSI Micro donated the Web space.

Ryan Walker of SSI Micro said ice safety is important in Yellowknife.

"We were happy to help, because we think it's a very worthy cause," said Walker.

The Department of Transportation has also lent their support to the project, as apart of their small boat safety campaign.

"This falls as part and parcel with our small boat safety," Stephen Sherburne, assistant program co-ordinator for safety and public affairs, said, "which we're a partner in with the fire department."

The Web site is titled Don't be an Icehole, and will be accessible next week at