Every year children are at risk when they are tempted to play on the ice formed on open waters and adults find themselves at risk as they attempt to save them.
Over 50% of ice related drowning involved an attempted rescue of another person or a dog. Areas with frozen waters can be beautiful to look at but they are also extremely dangerous.
Here are some useful tips to help you enjoy these areas safely.
Never go on the ice under ANY circumstances
This includes attempting to rescue another person or animal who may have fallen through the ice.
Only use well lit areas
Try to take walks in the daylight but if you must walk in the evening, only use well lit areas and avoid anywhere with water.
Keep away from the edge of the water
Never go close to the edge or lean over to touch the ice. You may over balance or trip and fall in.
Always walk with an adult or a group of friends
Look out for each other and if someone does fall through the ice there will be others around to raise the alarm and get help
What to do if you see someone fall through the ice
Shout for ‘help’ and dial 999 or 112 if you can. Do not walk on to the ice to attempt a rescue.
Shout to the person to ‘keep still’ and offer reassurance. If they are close enough, lie down to avoid overbalancing and falling onto the ice, and try to reach them with a tree branch, clothing tied together or anything else which can extend your reach.
If you cannot reach them, slide something which floats across the ice, such as a plastic bottle or a football, so that they can hold on to it to stay afloat whilst help is on the way.
If they are too far away, wait for the emergency services and reassure the casualty from the safety of the bank.