Warwickshire fire chiefs warn about the dangers of frozen water after Solihull tragedy - The Leamington Observer

Warwickshire fire chiefs warn about the dangers of frozen water after Solihull tragedy

Leamington Editorial 13th Dec, 2022   0

FIRE chiefs in Warwickshire are warning people to stay away from frozen water after three children lost their lives falling through the ice on a lake in Solihull.

Emergency services received a call on Sunday afternoon (December 12) to four children who had fallen through the frozen lake. Three of the children, aged eight, 10 and 11, have died. A fourth boy, aged six, remains in a critical condition.

As a result, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to take extra care while walking or playing near frozen bodies of water. Whilst the lake or body of water may look frozen, it may not be solid enough to hold any weight and in situations involving pets, where people go in to rescue them, or children who may not see the dangers present, the situation can quickly change.

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service 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. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of all those involved.

“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.”

Mr Francioso continued: “We would also ask that pets are kept on leads in any location with water nearby. Dogs are often unable to judge when ice can take their weight. If your pet does fall in the water, please don’t attempt to rescue them – instead, contact the Fire and Rescue Service for support. There are many instances where dogs have managed to scramble ashore unaided while the owner attempting to rescue them has drowned.

“In any situation where someone does end up in the water, your first response should be to call 999 for help. Once support is on its way, you may be able to use a large stick, pole, or items of clothing tied together to attempt to reach the victim: but don’t enter the water yourself. If you can’t reach the victim, keep an eye on their location so you can inform our rescue team of their whereabouts.

“Our advice is to keep away from frozen water and enjoy the winter weather safely.”

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