Share this page Print

Ice safety near water

When rivers, community lakes, storm ponds, or waterways start to freeze, the ice around and covering these bodies of water, can be dangerous. Stay safe by staying off the ice near waterways unless it is a City or community-designated ice rink. 

  • For outdoor skating, only skate on City of Calgary or community rinks; for locations visit Outdoor skating rinks.
  • Always keep a safe distance from riverbanks and lakeshores to avoid accidentally falling through the ice.

  • Don't walk on ice-covered bodies of water, including storm ponds. It's difficult to assess the thickness of the ice and its ability to hold the weight of a person or animal.
  • If a person or an animal falls through ice into water, call 9-1-1. Do not attempt to rescue them yourself. Encourage the person to kick and pull themselves up onto the ice and roll, rather than walk, towards the shore.

What to do if you fall through ice into water

  • Stay calm and try to keep your head is out of the water and control your breathing.
  • Call for help and keep your hands on the ice shelf.
  • Try to pull yourself up on the ice on your stomach and roll towards the shore, where the ice may be thicker.
  • If you can't get out of the water in less than 10 minutes, stop kicking and trying to pull yourself out, and anchor yourself to the ice shelf. Continue to call for help.

What to do if you witness a person falling through the ice

  • Stay back and call for help; call 9-1-1.
  • If the person does get out the water, on to the ice or shore, reach or throw an aid to the person such as a branch, or rope.