Darlington teenagers spotted playing at frozen Brinkburn Pond Nature Reserve

Pictures of young people playing on ice at Brinkburn Pond Nature Reserve in Darlington have prompted renewed safety warnings. Credit: NCJM

A photograph of group of teenagers spotted playing on ice at a frozen pond has prompted renewed safety warnings.

The picture shows a group of about nine young people playing on a frozen Brinkburn Pond, in Darlington, on Monday afternoon.

The individual who posted the image on social media wished to remain nameless, and simply wanted to say: "Just keep your kids safe."

The incident happened after three boys aged eight, 10 and 11, died after falling through the ice in Solihull on Sunday. A fourth boy, aged six, remains in a critical condition in hospital.

It has prompted a renewed safety warning.

The Brinkburn and Faverdale Councillors page on Facebook, managed by Darlington councillors Scott Durham, Rachel Mills and Lisa Preston, which shared the photo, said: "All parents we would ask that you remind children of the dangers, that’s all we can do as parents, educate.

"The ice may look and seem thick but we know it can go at anytime with tragic consequences."

Darlington MP Peter Gibson also shared the picture, warning people to stay off frozen ponds.

Footsteps on Killingworth Lake have caused concern for fire chiefs. Credit: TWFRS

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service have also issued a warning about children on frozen lakes and ponds.

They said they have received reports of children walking on ice at Killingworth Lake and Marsden Quarry in North Tyneside, Saltwell Park in Gateshead and Paddy Freeman's Park in Newcastle.

A spokesperson said: "We are urging you to have serious conversations with your children after numerous reports of children walking on frozen stretches of water in our region.

"We know you all join us in offering our condolences to the families but, you will be equally shocked to hear of numerous reports of children walking on frozen stretches of water in Tyne and Wear this week."

Paddy Freeman's Park in Newcastle also has dangerous frozen water people are being warned about. Credit: TWFRS

Earlier this week, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service issued a warning to people about winter water safety. It said: "With temperatures set to remain very cold, many ponds and other stretches of water are at risk of freezing. Whilst they may look solid, they can be extremely dangerous and very unlikely to hold your weight.

"We are urging parents to please speak to your children about the potential consequences if someone goes through into the frozen water. We would also like to urge people to keep their pets on leads near water."

A yellow weather warning for snow and ice is in place until Friday.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (Rospa) has issued ice safety advice in a bid to prevent further tragedy:

If someone falls through the ice:

  • Call the emergency services

  • Do not attempt to go out on to the ice yourself

  • Tell the person to stay still to maintain heat and energy

  • Try finding something which will extend your reach, such as a rope, pole or branch

  • Throw the object out and, once ensuring you are stable on the bank either by lying down or having someone hold on to you, pull them in

  • If you cannot find something to reach with, try finding an object that will float and push that out to them

  • Ensure that you keep off the ice at all times during the rescue, continue to reassure the casualty and keep them talking until help arrives

  • Once the person has been rescued, keep them warm and take them to hospital even if they appear to be unaffected

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