Firefighters applauded as they lay flowers at Babbs Mill Park after frozen lake rescue
Firefighters have joined the public in laying down flowers near to Babbs Mill Park in Solihull, where three boys have died after being rescued from an icy lake.
Police confirmed on Monday morning that three boys, aged 11, 10 and eight, died after being rescued from the water on Sunday afternoon. A 6-year-old boy remains in a critical condition in hospital.
Firefighters from West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service and West Midlands Police officers waded waist deep into the icy waters without any specialist clothing, in efforts to save the boys yesterday afternoon.
The children were reached by specialist water rescue-trained firefighters who got the group to safety.
Those pulled from the water were given immediate life support by ambulance crews and the fire service.
Dozens of local people, including many schoolchildren, placed bunches of flowers in tribute to the three boys at the base of a tree near the northern entrance to Babbs Mill Park on Monday afternoon.
A group of firefighters wearing protective overalls placed their own floral tribute, bearing a white ribbon arranged as a flower.
They left a bouquet at the scene reading: "Rest in peace boys. Love from Sheldon Red Watch."
The seven firefighters paused for a few moments of reflection before leaving, having been applauded by several local people for their efforts to save the youngsters.
Among the tributes was one from West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, with a card attached reading: “Such a tragedy. My heart goes out to the families who have lost their most precious gift.
“May their young lives rest in peace and may Kingshurst come together to remember them.”
Local woman Katie O’Driscoll, who was accompanied by her five-year-old daughter, also placed flowers at the site.
The mother of four said: “Anyone that has got kids can really relate to that we feel heartbroken as a community. The whole community cares – they will be kids that we know because we are a close-knit community.
“It’s affected everybody. It’s devastating and it’s sad.”
The Park Hall Academy in Castle Bromwich, Birmingham, said it was aware of the tragic event at Babbs Mill lake over the weekend.
The school said in a statement issued on its Twitter feed: “Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved and our local community at this extremely difficult time.
“Please rest assured that anyone affected will be supported.”
The deaths of the three boys who fell into the lake is a “stark reminder” of the dangers of open water, West Midlands Fire Service area commander Richard Stanton has said.
“Frozen lakes, ponds, canals and reservoirs can look picturesque but they can be lethal and there are no greater warnings of this than yesterday’s tragic events.
"We would ask parents and carers to remind their children of the dangers of ice and why they must keep off it. Please help us to avoid this from happening again."
Babbs Mill Lake tragedy: What we know so far as three boys confirmed dead