Fire service issue frozen water warning

Cumbria County Council's Fire and Rescue Service is warning people of the potentially fatal consequences of venturing onto frozen lakes, rivers and ponds.

Pictures: Penrith fire rescue exercise

Penrith fire and rescue service are urging the public to stay off frozen water during the winter months.

They've been carrying out a rescue exercise on a frozen lake in Penrith, to highlight the dangers of people playing on ice.

Practise rescue on the ice Credit: ITV Border
The team practise working on frozen water Credit: ITV Border
Fire service member awaiting rescue Credit: ITV Border

Conrad Leather is the station manager at Penrith fire and rescue and is warning people that it's not just children who have to be wary frozen water:

"We need parents to realise that it's very dangerous for the kids but it's also dangerous for adults. The ice we have been practising on is thick, but a lot of the time, ice is thinner than it looks."

A frozen lake outside of Penrith Credit: ITV Border
Ice may appear thick, but could be fragile Credit: ITV Border

Fire service warning: 'Don't go on the ice'

Members of Penrith fire and rescue service have been carrying out a rescue exercise for people who have fallen through the ice.

The region has experienced freezing temperatures for several weeks, and the cold weather is expected to continue.

They are warning people of the dangers of playing on frozen lakes, rivers and tarns.

"The message I can't put across strongly enough is don't go on the ice. It might take us five or ten minutes to get there and that's just not time people have in these conditions.

"Every year people die, and statistics show that half of those people are either going to rescue others or their dogs.

"We don't want to see people throwing sticks on the ice for the dogs, because once the dogs goes through the ice, the owner is left in a predicament.

"If the ice can't hold the weight of a dog, it won't hold the weight of a person.

"So we would like to emphasise once again don't go on the ice."

– Conrad Leather, Station Manager, Penrith fire and rescue service

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Parents to warn kids of frozen water dangers

Frozen rivers may look pretty, but can be dangerous Credit: ITV Border

There are hundreds of lakes, tarns and rivers across Cumbria, so the risk of accidents occurring from people playing on ice is higher than in most counties.

Parents are being asked to ensure their children are aware made of the dangers involved in playing on frozen water.

Cumbria Fire and Rescue say that many children are unaware that even where the ice looks stable, there is no way of knowing just how thick it is or whether it's strong enough to take their weight.

People should avoid playing on frozen lakes Credit: ITV Border

People warned to avoid frozen rivers, ponds and lakes

The region has been experiencing freezing temperatures lately, and the cold snap is set to continue.

Cumbria County Council's Fire and Rescue Service is warning people of the potentially fatal consequences of venturing onto frozen lakes, rivers and ponds.

"If you go out onto frozen water you are literally dicing with death so I'd urge people not to do so under any circumstances.

"There are many potential dangers associated with a frozen body of water. Although it may appear to be robust and strong, there can be little or no support and the ice can give way with no warning.

"The hazards are drowning, asphyxia and hypothermia. If the ice gives way then it can trap you, and in freezing temperatures hypothermia sets in very quickly.

"I'd also encourage parents to never leave youngsters unsupervised near frozen ponds, rivers and lakes.

– Adrian Buckle, Cumbria's Assistant Chief Fire Officer