Dad Jason Butler and son William, 6, head out to join dozens of skaters on the ice of Panama Flats after school on Thursday (Jan. 5).

Dad Jason Butler and son William, 6, head out to join dozens of skaters on the ice of Panama Flats after school on Thursday (Jan. 5).

Saanich cautions against skating on frozen ponds, avoid lakes

Despite a warning from the District of Saanich on Thursday afternoon, dozens of skaters took to Panama Flats.




Jason Butler donned his Pittsburgh Penguins jersey and escorted six-year-old son William onto the ice for some shinny after school on Thursday.

Most skaters sharing the ice with Butler on Panama Flats said it’s relatively safe given the minimal depth of the flood plain.

However, the District of Saanich is advising residents to use extreme caution before venturing on any frozen ponds and lakes as the recent temperatures have led to several local lakes and waterbodies tempting would-be skaters.

Butler, like others at Panama Flats, was less worried about safety due to the flood plain’s low depth.

“It’s really only a foot deep so it’s not too worrisome,” Butler said. “You can see where it’s a bit sketchy.”

One skater, an adult male, did fall through the ice, soaking himself to the hips (because he fell sideways).

Residents are asked to keep safety top of mind when it comes to outdoor winter play.

“It can be difficult to judge if a frozen lake or pond is in fact, safe to walk on,” according to a release from the district. “Weather conditions to create safe ice on lakes and ponds have not been met in Saanich. Please be safe and stay clear of ice on ponds or lakes.”

 

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