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Beware of ice: January thaw leads to unstable waterways

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Digital writers

Wednesday, January 15, 2014, 12:25 PM -

Police are reminding residents that lakes and waterways are unsafe due to this week's mid-season thaw across parts of eastern Canada.

Several places have seen record breaking high temperatures, which have altered the conditions of the ice, making the stability unpredictable and inconsistent.

Ontario police say some waterways are now covered in water and slush, causing open holes and large cracks on the already thin ice.

SEE ALSO: Old fashioned Canadian winter

According to officials, there's a general "one, ten, one" rule when it comes to water.

"If the ice melts and you fall into the water you've got one minute to get your breathing under control, ten minutes for meaningful self rescue to get yourself out and call for help, and then about one hour before hypothermia sets in," the Toronto Police Marine Unit says.

As a result, residents are being warned not to get too close to the verges of the watercourses as conditions can suddenly change without warning.

With files from The Canadian Press

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