Worrying pictures reveal people walking on frozen North East lakes just days after Solihull tragedy
On Sunday evening, four children fell through ice in Solihull in the West Midlands after reportedly walking on a frozen over lake in the sub-zero temperatures. Three have sadly since died while a fourth child continues to fight for their life in hospital.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) said it was a “tragic reminder” of the dangers of walking on ice – but despite pleading to people to learn from the devastating events, they have now revealed they have received reports of children putting their lives at risk.
There have been 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.
Although nobody has been reported to have fallen through ice at these locations, with sub-zero temperatures set to continue this week, fire chiefs have asked parents to act to prevent further tragedies.
TWFRS has released photographs taken at Paddy Freeman’s Park where footprints can clearly be seen in snow on top of the frozen lake.
And the brigade is concerned about other stretches of water in the region that have frozen over and may see children or adults attempt to walk onto the ice, including Barnes Park, Hetton Lyons Country Park and Silksworth Country Park in Sunderland.
Jonathan Ramanayake, the Safety and Education Manager for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said they would be emphasising their
messaging with schools across the region but also needed parents and guardians to show their support.
He said: “What has unfolded in Solihull is every parent’s worst nightmare and our thoughts remain with everyone affected by the tragedy.
“With that in mind, it is shocking for us to hear that children here in Tyne and Wear have continued to walk on frozen stretches of water.
“Some of the locations are not dissimilar to the lake where the tragedy in Solihull took place and those involved are putting their lives at risk.
“We are speaking with schools across the region but we need communities to support our messaging. Speak with your children, talk to your neighbours and if you see someone behaving in this way please speak up.
“If you do see someone fall through the ice, please don’t enter the water yourself. Call 999, ask for the fire and rescue service, and first responders will be there as quickly as possible.
“While you wait for emergency services, stay on dry land and try and reach the person in trouble with a branch or long item they can grab on to.
“If you fall in the water, and cannot get out, then shout for help and try to stay calm. If you stay still you will conserve heat and that could be crucial in those moments before we arrive to help.”