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'We've pulled six machines out,' Police warn of unstable ice conditions on Lake Simcoe


The York Region Police Marine Unit is warning people to stay off Lake Simcoe because of the inconsistency in ice thickness.

"We have had a number of machines go through the ice. A number of people that ended up going into the water," says Staff Sgt. Aaron Busby.

Police say there are areas on the lake with several inches of ice, but note the problem is the dramatic change from location to location.

Police in York Region say two people were pulled from the ice over the weekend after their ATV plunged through, adding one person didn't survive.

Tom Carr with Fatal Force Outfitters has lived next to and worked on Lake Simcoe in Orillia for years and says he's stunned to see people venturing out.

"We've pulled six machines out so far, but it's almost daily as far as anywhere from North Bay down to Lake Simcoe right now," says Carr.

The inconsistent ice is on most lakes in the area. The warning has even longtime lake resident Rob Livingston checking twice before heading out. However, he says he plans to go out again on Monday.

"I still ask before I go out. I'll even get a hold of a couple of the rental guys and talk to them," he assures, adding he was last out on the lake on Saturday.

Bear Point Fish Hunt Rentals in Innisfil still has all its huts on land, with the owner saying he's unsure when and even if he'll get out this year.

"Places like Cooks Bay may have nine or 10 inches, and then not even a mile from where you are on the ice, you only have two inches, even an inch of ice in certain spots. Lake Simcoe is a big body of water. It has to be treated like three to four separate lakes all on its own," says Don Luchkiw.

Police are aware people are still making their way onto the lake despite their warnings.

"We have our airboat on standby. We are asking them to please stay off because we have a very strong assertion that we will be called out again," finished Staff Sgt. Busby. Top Stories

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