Stay off frozen Nanaimo lakes, Mounties warn

By Dominic Abassi
January 4, 2017 - 4:38pm Updated: January 4, 2017 - 6:58pm

People on a frozen Westwood Lake Wednesday afternoonPhoto credit: Jason Dancy

NANAIMO — It may be a fun novelty for Islanders starved for a taste of a real Canadian winter, but skating on lakes in Nanaimo is an accident waiting to happen, according to Mounties.

Nanaimo RCMP Const. Gary O'Brien is warning people to stay off all lakes in Nanaimo, no matter how thick the ice may seem.

People flocked to Westwood Lake Wednesday afternoon to strap on the blades and take a few laps.

Witchcraft Lake off Benson View Road has been another popular spot for outdoor skating this winter.

The city of Nanaimo issued a similar warning late Wednesday, reminding people that the ice on all lakes, ponds and water sources in Nanaimo is unsafe.

"Ice needs at least seven days of temperatures reaching minus seven degrees Celsius before it may become safe and local climatic factors such as wind, snow, rain and temperature fluctuations affect this considerably. These conditions have not been met in Nanaimo," states a city release.

Thin ice signs have also been posted at all Nanaimo lakes.

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