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Calgary Fire warns of storm pond skating dangers

Last Updated Dec 31, 2020 at 11:12 am MDT

Skaters wear masks while making the rounds on the Olympic Plaza skating rink on Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020. (PHOTO: Tom Ross, 660 NEWS)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – With COVID-19 putting a damper on most activities, ice-skating has become one of the most popular time-spenders in Calgary.

However, prior to lacing up, you should always be sure you’re skating on safe ice.

Calgary fire and several communities in the city are warning about the dangers of skating on storm ponds, saying while it may look tempting, it can be fatal.

Evanston’s community Facebook page reports seven skaters being kicked off the storm pond by bylaw officers, while Calgary fire has been called to at least one incident on Christmas Day.

The city says skating on the storm ponds is extremely dangerous because road salt and runoff makes the ice quite thin, and fast-changing water levels can make for a deadly combination.

Calgary Fire’s public information officer, Carol Henke, says skating on the storm ponds can risk more than just your life.

“I would say that you are putting potentially your life at risk and also those people who may be nearby who then are compelled to help you should you break through. Also, (it risks) our first responders,” said Henke.

“It is a completely avoidable accident.”