Calgary fire officials are urging residents to stay off ice on ponds and rivers following a dangerously close call involving two teenagers who fell into a pond on the weekend.
Emergency crews were called to James Mckevitt Road and Spruce Meadows Trail S.W. just after 3:30 p.m. Sunday, after a male and female fell through pond ice and were unable to escape the water.
Fire officials said the teens had been in the water for “several minutes and were in extreme distress.” Ropes had to be used to help them out of the water and back onto thicker ice.
“Those people were very lucky to come out alive,” Calgary Fire Dept. spokesperson Al Magwood said Monday.
“It sounds dramatic, but it could’ve turned very bad in that situation.”
The teens were pulled back to shore, then taken to an area hospital by EMS.
Area resident Kathy Fredine said she heard the ambulances arriving at the pond.
“We looked out and saw all of the people and vehicles there,” Fredine said. “I had just guessed that somebody had fallen through the ice.
“It’s pretty devastating to see. There are lots of people that go down on the path, and the ducks are starting to come, so lots of kids are usually there.”
Fire officials said the recent warm temperatures in Calgary have started the spring thaw, and warned ice surfaces are extremely unpredictable.
“What happens on the rivers–with the flow of water–it starts to undercut the ice,” Magwood said. “So even though it looks nice and thick, it’s not usually, and you could potentially put yourself in a life-threatening situation.”
Magwood said besides lakes, holding ponds, and the Elbow and Bow rivers, residents should avoid the Glenmore Reservoir.
“People think that because it’s such a large area they can go on there safely. It’s against the bylaws for the city of Calgary, and you also put yourself at risk.”
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With files from Global’s Carolyn Kury de Castillo
© 2016 Shaw Media