Protruding pipe causes accident on Gull Lake

A pair of rafters brave the choppy waters at Gull Lake in a file photo from 2016. Ashli Barrett / Lacombe Globe

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Blackfalds RCMP and investigators are asking anyone who use pleasure crafts in the summer to remove anchors and moorings from the water for the winter following an accident on Gull Lake.

On Monday, March 11, RCMP received a hazard complaint from a mother who reported her son was snowmobiling on the lake west of Twp. Rd. 412 when his snowmobile hit something hard. He was thrown off the machine and landed 30 feet away.

While speeds weren’t high enough to result in injury to the driver, the bottom of the snowmobile and the track was ripped off. The driver discovered a two foot long, three-inch pipe, believed to be a boat anchor/mooring location, sticking out of the ice. It had been covered with snow, and was not seen by the driver.

The part of the pipe that was protruding was broken off and further removal when the ice melts will be necessary to prevent injuries or property damage.

Now, recreationalists including boaters, RVers and ATVers as well as anyone else who use pleasure crafts in the summer are being asked to remove anchors from the water before winter.

“The driver of the snowmobile was very lucky to walk away from the incident unharmed,” said the release issued Wednesday. “This incident could have ended with serious injuries or death.”

It is in that same vein that Lacombe County has implemented the “Take it Off” program, which helps remind those who use the lake in the winter for angling to take their ice huts off the lake before the ice melts, as well as all other materials to prevent hazards in the summer, preserve the sensitive environment surrounding the lake, and combat property theft. More information about that program can be found at www.lacombecounty.com/index.php take-it-off-program.

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