'The lake is literally cracking everywhere,' Shifting ice conditions nearly ends in tragedy
ORILLIA, ONT. -- A day of fishing on Lake Simcoe nearly turned tragic for several people near Strawberry Island.
Peter Wozniak was ice fishing with a friend when he says there was a loud sound, and he knew something was wrong. "It was a big crack when I was in my tent. I heard cracks."
People on the ice say the cracking sound was the ice shifting and separating near Whitefish Shoal and Moon Shoal near Orillia.
Twelve people were on a slab of ice that caught the attention of Tom Carr.
Carr says he and his friend Mark Bolton raced over to let them know the ice was shifting.
"A guy comes along with a sled from hut to hut and just telling everybody to get off the ice because there's a big crack that just happened, and it was starting to spread starting to open up," Wozniak says.
Carr says he escorted four people with sleds off the ice pack. He says he then went back and drove the rest to safety using his own sled.
"The spider crack was pretty bad. It makes foot travel extremely dangerous. If you actually step on that ice and fall down through that, you have the possibility of that ice now coming back over top of you and locking you in. This year with the ice we are having, it's just the lake is literally cracking everywhere, so it's really unpredictable," Carr warns.
Anyone planning on heading out on any body of water is encouraged to dress appropriately, have the necessary safety gear and always check with local ice hut operators first.