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Stay off the ice, police warn

Dez Loreen
Northern News Services

Inuvik (Nov 03/06) - The snow has fallen and the Inuvik RCMP have pulled their snowmachines out for this season.

Officers want to remind the people who are already using their snowmobiles to exercise caution.

NNSL Photo/graphic

Constable. Chris Vezina stands with one of the snowmobiles that will be used by the RCMP this winter season. He wants to remind the people of Inuvik to be safe while riding and to stay off the ice until the rivers and lakes have properly frozen over. - Dez Loreen/NNSL photo

"We are asking the public to refrain from going onto the ice of the Mackenzie River and bodies of water surrounding the town," said Cpl. Jim Strowbridge.

"The ice is not thick enough and is not safe to be travelling on."

Const. Chris Vezina was busy preparing the detachment's own snow machines to be used this winter.

"This is the time of year when people are itching to take their snowmobiles out," said Vezina.

Snowmobilers should always be safe when on streets and near town, he added.

"Ensure that other traffic, like trucks and cars can see you," he said.

"Remember to obey all traffic signals and speed limits while riding in town."

Being prepared for the worst is always important. Vezina said that helmet use and proper registration and insurance should be used while in town limits.

"Ensure that your equipment is appropriate," said Vezina. "There is no better protection than your helmet."

Strowbridge said that while there are people out using their own machines, there has been a history of stolen machines during the winter months.

"Make sure your machine is secured when you aren't using it," said Strowbridge.

"Putting your machine within a shed or garage could avoid it from being stolen."

Last year, the Inuvik RCMP responded to more than 50 complaints of stolen snowmobiles.

"Many of those machines were recovered damaged or not at all."

Vezina also wanted to make sure that any travellers are also well prepared for the elements. "If you are going out for an extended period of time, wear warm clothing and boots," said Vezina.

"Always be prepared for the unexpected."