Warning issued after truck falls through Swan Lake ice

For more information on ice safety, go to www.lifesaving.bc.ca/ice-safety-tips.

A truck plunging into Swan Lake has residents being warned about going out on to the ice.

Swan Lake is a popular place for ice fishing but Vernon Search and Rescue officials aren’t convinced the ice level is sufficient enough for people let alone a vehicle, as occurred Monday.

“Last week, there was still open water there,” said Pete Wise, a search master.

The exact thickness of Swan Lake ice is not known but the Livesaving Society of B.C. recommends four inches of ice to carry the weight of a person on any lake and 12 to 15 inches for one medium-sized truck

“They need to do test holes first and be aware that ice depth will change from spot to spot,” said Wise.

“Be aware that Swan Lake has a couple of springs and that impacts the thickness of the ice.”

Among the equipment encouraged is an ice pick, which can be used to try and pull yourself out of the water.

“Survivability is very slim when you go into that water. It’s so cold it takes your breath away,” said Wise.

Last February, three individuals were uninjured after they fell through the ice on Swan Lake while out for a walk.

Wise is urging anyone venturing out on to lakes — both in the valley bottom and at higher elevations — to be cautious.

“You need common sense. You need to check the ice first and don’t just run out,” he said.

For more information on ice safety, go to www.lifesaving.bc.ca/ice-safety-tips.