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As snowmobilers begin the hit the trails after the first significant snowfalls, Manitoba RCMP wants to remind people to keep safety a priority.

Cpl. Julie Courchaine, Media Relations Officer RCMP Manitoba, says every year RCMP officers arrive at scenes where snowmobilers have been severely injured or have lost their lives. In 2017, six Manitobans died in snowmobile-related collisions.

"In Canada and Manitoba, one of the big things people like to do to get outdoors is snowmobiling. We want people to be still doing that but be very safe, be cautious, be smart all the time so that we can reduce that number, and see people out there having fun."

RCMP have some tips to help keep snowmobilers safe this winter:

* Know your abilities and ride within your limits, it will allow you to always be in control of your snowmobile.

* Always check the weather conditions before you leave.

* Always ride in groups and let people know where you’re going, the route you will be taking, and when you expect to return.

* Always wear protective clothing, including a helmet, gloves, and eye protection. Wear layers of clothing to keep warm and dry.

* When possible, avoid crossing bodies of water. If you are crossing bodies of water, be cautious of ice thickness, never ride in single file, and wear a life jacket over your outer clothing.

* Ride sober. Don't drink or consume drugs before or while snowmobiling.

Courchaine notes the RCMP wants people to remain safe so that they can make it home safely to their families.

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