Good weather means no ice training

Unseasonably high temperatures mean lake ice is hard to find for Arrowsmith Search and Rescue

Joe Kinch and his colleagues would like nothing better than to walk out on a frozen lake until they fall through the ice and need to be rescued.

However, said the spokesperson for Arrowsmith Search and Rescue, a planned ice rescue course set for Sunday had to be postponed because of good weather.

“What happens is kids and dogs will go out onto the ice and break through and get hypothermia and die,” Kinch said. “This is the training we use to go out there safely and retrieve them.”

Kinch said that last year the team, led by trainer Tony Toriglia, went to the top of the hump between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni to Loon Lake.

“It worked out really well,” Kinch said. “The water was open in the middle of the lake, but for 100 metres all around it was frozen, so we just had the victim walk out until they fell through.”

On colder years, he said, ASAR volunteers trained on the pond at the Coombs Campground. This year however, it’s just too warm.

“We were hoping it would get cold enough to continue. We need three or four days below zero for the ice to be thick enough to hold the course.”

Although he was disappointed, Kinch said he’s hopeful an expected cold snap will allow the course to be held in a week or so.