• Carmen Marie Fabio

Fisherman dies after going through ice in NDIP


PHOTO BY CLAUDE ROBILLARD

Firefighters from Île Perrot responded to the emergency call after a 71-year-old NDIP resident went through the ice surface on Lake St. Louis January 29.

A 71-year-old Notre Dame de l’Île Perrot (NDIP) resident lost his life Friday, January 29, after falling through the ice while fishing on Lake St. Louis near the shoreline of Pointe du Moulin in NDIP. SQ spokesperson Sgt. Joyce Kemp said the man was found approximately 500 metres from the shore, near a fishing shack and not far from his parked four-wheel All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV). “He was transported to hospital where unfortunately he was pronounced dead.” The man was later identified as Delphis Dubé.

Sgt. Ingrid Asselin said anyone venturing out onto the ice should take extra precautions to check conditions and can consult the www.redcross.ca for tips on ice safety including guides to gauge ice strength by its colour and appearance, and the necessary thickness to support individuals and vehicles. The site also offers instructions on what to do in the event someone goes through the ice.

“The same precautions apply to snowmobilers,” said Asselin. “There are regions in Quebec where there are temperature fluctuations that affect snow and ice. Residents have to be vigilant because each year, unfortunately, there are situations like this that can end tragically.”

“It hasn’t been a good winter for the fishing shacks,” said Dan Lauzon, owner of Île Perrot’s Lauzon Chasse et Pêche. “With the weather we’ve been getting, the ice is unpredictable. If you don’t know the ice and there are no shacks visible, don’t bring your vehicle on the ice.”

Lauzon said ice in bay areas is typically more stable than that located off points in shorelines where the current tends to be stronger and the terrain below the water’s surface is rockier.

“If you’ve got current, you can have 12 inches of ice and three feet away, you can have three inches of ice.” Lauzon said another particularly dangerous part of ice is right by the shoreline where any fluctuations in the water level will have an immediate effect on the ice. Vehicles entering or leaving the ice surface will also create a wake that can affect the ice integrity.

“Our ice this year is extremely dangerous. Even people who know the water and the currents still have to be very careful.”

A typical ice fishing season runs from December to March but with the unseasonably warm December and current warm and wet conditions, the ubiquitous ice fishing shacks usually seen this time of year are significantly reduced.

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