Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) is reminding people of the dangers of going on frozen lakes following the tragic events in the West Midlands over the weekend.
Three young boys died and another is reportedly in a critical condition after falling through an icy lake in Solihull near Birmingham.
Northumberland Chief Fire Officer Paul Hedley said: “This is an absolute tragedy and our thoughts go out to the family and friends of those boys, as well as all the services which have been involved with this very difficult rescue effort.
“While frozen water can look attractive, as events have shown, it can be an extremely dangerous environment and lead to tragic consequences.”
With Northumberland, like many parts of the country, in the grip of freezing temperatures, ponds, lakes and rivers may well be iced over, and people are being urged not to go on them, however safe they think it might be.
Among the key advice is:
- Teach children not to go onto the ice under any circumstances.
- Don’t go onto ice or into the water to rescue a dog, move to somewhere that the dog will be able to climb out and call them towards you.
- Keep dogs on their leads when near ice and don’t throw sticks or toys onto the ice.
- Time your walks to make the most of the daylight; if you need to walk in the evening only use well-lit areas or take a route not alongside water.
- When walking alongside water keep back from the edge.
The Royal Life Saving Society has more useful information on what to do if you fall through ice or see someone else fall. The advice is available via https://www.rlss.org.uk/
If you see someone in the water or go through ice call 999 immediately.