Ice skaters flock to North Okanagan lakes, one falls through

Youngbin Kim skates the puck down Okanagan Lake while playing hockey with some friends Friday afternoon off Kin Beach. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)Youngbin Kim skates the puck down Okanagan Lake while playing hockey with some friends Friday afternoon off Kin Beach. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Aubre and Tegan Mann and Abi and Izi Duncan enjoy skating and playing on the frozen Okanagan Lake Friday afternoon near Kin Beach. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)Aubre and Tegan Mann and Abi and Izi Duncan enjoy skating and playing on the frozen Okanagan Lake Friday afternoon near Kin Beach. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Friends Fraser O’Brien, Chris and Ben Reinhardt and Youngbin Kim enjoy a game of hockey on Okanagan Lake off Kin Beach Friday afternoon. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)Friends Fraser O’Brien, Chris and Ben Reinhardt and Youngbin Kim enjoy a game of hockey on Okanagan Lake off Kin Beach Friday afternoon. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Ben Reinhardt skates the puck down Okanagan Lake while playing hockey with some friends off Kin Beach Friday afternoon. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)Ben Reinhardt skates the puck down Okanagan Lake while playing hockey with some friends off Kin Beach Friday afternoon. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Kin Beach was a popular place over the weekend as people of all ages came out to skate and play on the frozen Okanagan Lake. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)Kin Beach was a popular place over the weekend as people of all ages came out to skate and play on the frozen Okanagan Lake. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Kin Beach was a popular place over the weekend as people of all ages came out to skate and play on the frozen Okanagan Lake. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)Kin Beach was a popular place over the weekend as people of all ages came out to skate and play on the frozen Okanagan Lake. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Kin Beach was a popular place over the weekend as people, and pets, came out to skate and play on the frozen Okanagan Lake. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)Kin Beach was a popular place over the weekend as people, and pets, came out to skate and play on the frozen Okanagan Lake. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Kin Beach was a popular place over the weekend as people of all ages came out to skate and play on the frozen Okanagan Lake. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)Kin Beach was a popular place over the weekend as people of all ages came out to skate and play on the frozen Okanagan Lake. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Kin Beach was a popular place over the weekend as people of all ages came out to skate and play on the frozen Okanagan Lake. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)Kin Beach was a popular place over the weekend as people of all ages came out to skate and play on the frozen Okanagan Lake. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Aubre and Tegan Mann and Abi and Izi Duncan enjoy skating and playing on the frozen Okanagan Lake Friday afternoon near Kin Beach. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)Aubre and Tegan Mann and Abi and Izi Duncan enjoy skating and playing on the frozen Okanagan Lake Friday afternoon near Kin Beach. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Family Day weekend saw a swell of people get outside, particularly to enjoy frozen lakes in the area.

Whether it was Swan, Okanagan, Kalamalka, Wood or Ellison (a.k.a Duck) lake, all were packed with people skating, playing hockey, ice fishing and just having fun.

But the weekend also saw a close call near Kal Beach in Coldstream Sunday, Feb. 14.

A man who was reportedly trying to tell kids on the ice to get back fell through near a private residence.

Emergency crews were called, but a neighbour was quick to lend the man a ladder to help himself out of the frigid waters.

While cooler temperatures last week led to lakes freezing, a warming warning is being urged for all those who might be venturing out on thin ice.

“As we move into warmer temperatures please familiarize yourself with ice safety from our friends at BC AdventureSmart,” Vernon Search and Rescue said.

Ice should be four inches (10 centimetres) or more before venturing out. Tips can be found at adventuresmart.ca.

Should you fall through:

  • Do not panic. Your clothing will trap air and keep you buoyant.
  • Turn towards the direction you came from and place your hands and arms flat on the unbroken surface.
  • Kick your feet and try to push yourself up on top of the unbroken ice on your stomach, like a seal.
  • Once you are lying on the ice, don’t stand up. Roll away from the break until you are on solid ice.

Kalamalka is the least frozen of all the above-mentioned lakes, with the frozen area barely making it to the end of the dock.

READ MORE: 15 people rescued off mountain in Lavington

READ MORE: Spring normalcy not likely, with more events curbed by COVID-19 in Vernon


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