On Sunday, Mar. 12, 2023, Kingston Fire & Rescue crews rescued a person who had gotten stranded on thin ice in a wetland area in Kingston’s west end.
Shortly before 1:30 p.m., fire crews and paramedics responded to a call from a male who had gone through the ice in the Marshlands Conservation Area, just off of Front Road and Auld Street.
Responders were able to triangulate the victim’s location via his cell phone. With dispatch using the device’s GPS location, the “What3Word” app that the victim had installed on his phone, and visual scanning of the area, the victim was located and successfully retrieved.
Kingston Fire & Rescue Platoon Chief Tom Meers led the rescue efforts at the scene. According to Meers, the victim had been biking with his dog when he got stuck. “At around 13:27 p.m., we received a report of a gentleman who had fallen through the ice, and was able to extricate him from the ice, but he was stuck on a shelf and didn’t feel like he could go any further without falling through again,” Meers said. “We responded and it took us a while to find his location, with the assistance of dispatch with their GPS capabilities with 911 they were able to get his location, using the What3Word app and get us a location, so we were able to zero in. Before that happened they had a visual on him so we…kind of triangulated his location, and were able to get him with our Fortuna Boat (a rapid deployment craft) and bring him out, him and his dog, and they both are fine as it right now, and they’re being assessed by paramedics.”
Following the rescue, the patient looked alert and well, and was placed into the care of Frontenac Paramedics and taken to hospital as a precaution.
“It’s that time of year where ice is unsafe,” said Kingston Fire & Rescue Platoon Chief Tom Meers. “If you get near a stream or in some marshy areas, the ice is decaying right now, so no ice is perfectly safe right now.”
“You have to be very wary if you’re going to go out on the ice,” Meers cautioned. “My recommendation is not to.”