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Fire services issue frozen water warning

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The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and London Fire Brigade are urging people to stay safe around frozen water as temperatures look set to remain below freezing.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Area Commander for Prevention and Protection, David Dourley, said: “We strongly urge everyone to please be aware of the dangers of frozen water. We know the ice can look inviting but do not be tempted to walk on ice. It can easily crack and cause a person to fall through.

“Don’t wander too near to the edge, icy conditions could cause you to slip and fall in and don’t be tempted to test how solid the water is.

“Adults should set a good example by staying off the ice and we also ask that parents, carers and guardians ensure children are aware of the dangers of frozen water.

“We don’t want your winter walk to end in tragedy so please avoid going near frozen water when you are out with loved ones and pets.”

London Fire Brigade Assistant Commissioner Spencer Sutcliff said: “Walking out on to frozen ponds or lakes is extremely dangerous. Never assume that the ice is thick enough to support you. It may look sturdy enough to stand on, but it often isn’t and can be of variable thickness especially as you move away from the edge where the ice is often thinner.

“If you fall into icy water, the risk of hypothermia is very high and can prove fatal.

“We’re urging parents to take some time to talk to their children about the dangers of going on the ice and to supervise them carefully.

“We also see a number of people who put themselves in danger by attempting to rescue pets that have become stranded or trapped, and then they also need to be rescued by the brigade. Dog owners should keep them on a lead and keep a close eye on them.

“Firefighters are trained and have specialist equipment to rescue those who do get stuck on, or in, an icy lake or pond, so if you see a person or an animal in difficulty don’t put yourself at risk by going in after them. Call 999, keep your eye on them and stay off the ice.”

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