Dog walker praised after seeing youngsters playing on iced over lake - The Leamington Observer

Dog walker praised after seeing youngsters playing on iced over lake

A DOG walker who urged children to get off a frozen lake in Kenilworth’s Abbey Fields has been hailed an ‘unsung hero’.

She stopped to warn them of the danger on Sunday afternoon at the same time emergency services in nearby Soilhull were responding to the tragedy which led to the death of three young boys and left another fighting for his life.

A witness to the Kenilworth incident told The Observer what happened.

“We witnessed a group of young boys, two of whom were out on the frozen lake, almost in the middle where there were clearly very thin areas of ice.

“Despite passers by telling them to get off the ice they stayed on it until a particular lady dog walker stopped and spoke to them. She was very calm, rational and persistent. She told them that they were putting themselves in danger and that if they fell through the ice and passers by and emergency services had to come to their rescue they would be putting others at risk and that it was a selfish act.

“They did not but eventually she told them that if they did not get off she was going to call the police at which point they made their way back to the lakeside and then walked away with their friends.

“Many people fear getting involved in any kind of ‘confrontation’ these days but this woman was amazing and potentially averted another terrible tragedy, those boys should be eternally grateful to her.

“Whoever she was, she is an unsung hero and all respect to her for being so determined in her efforts to get those boys off the ice.”

Following the Solihull tragedy, Warwickshire Fire & Rescue Service (WFRS) is urging people to take extra care while walking or playing near frozen bodies of water.

WFRS community fire spokesman Moreno Francioso said: “We are deeply saddened to hear the news of the three young boys who have lost their lives and the young boy who is still in hospital. “The incident is a stark reminder of the very real dangers of open water, particularly when it’s frozen. Our message to everyone right now is to stay well away from the water’s edge. Please don’t try to walk or skate on frozen water. Regardless of how solid it looks, you never know when the ice may give way, in which instance tragic outcomes are common.

“Please take the time now to talk to your children about the dangers of frozen lakes and why it’s important for them to stay safe, so that we can prevent this happening again.”

Dog walkers are also being urged to keep their pets on leads near water following a number of instances of people drowning while trying to rescue dogs which have fallen through ice.

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