Solihull: Edinburgh Council urges locals to avoid frozen water following 'tragic' Solihull lake deaths
The warnings come after four children fell through ice into a lake in Solihull on Sunday, December 11. Three of the boys, aged eight, 10 and 11, died after being pulled from the water. Another boy, six, who was rescued from the water remains in hospital in a critical condition. All four of the children were in cardiac arrest when rescue teams pulled them out of the frozen lake.
In response to the tragedy, the City of Edinburgh Council has joined emergency services in asking locals to stay away from frozen water. Councillor Val Walker, Culture and Communities Convener, said: “I would urge everyone to take extra care near frozen bodies of water – sadly, the risks associated have been brought into sharp relief by the tragic events this week in Solihull.
“Ponds, rivers, reservoirs and canals may look solid during the current freezing temperatures but there’s every chance the surface could crack and result in someone falling through the ice."
“There’s lots of scope for beautiful winter walks in the city’s parks and next to our waterways this December, but please avoid going near frozen water, or allowing dogs onto the ice. If someone, or a pet, does get into difficulty don’t attempt to rescue them yourself – dial 999 and ask for the fire and rescue service.”
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Area Commander for Prevention and Protection, David Dourley, said: “Following the tragic events of the weekend, our thoughts are very much with the families, friends and local communities at this sad time.
“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.”
The Commander urged adults to set a good example by staying off the ice, and asked that parents, carers and guardians educate their children on the dangers of frozen water. He added: “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.”
North Berwick RNLI also responded to the incident, writing: “Desperately sad news from down south. Please take extra care around our inland water during the cold spell. For inland water emergencies dial 999 and ask for the Fire Service. For coastal emergencies dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”
Sudden immersion in water colder than 15C can lead to Cold Water Shock, which can be lethal in minutes. It causes a number of involuntary body reactions, such as a sudden increase in heart and blood pressure that can result in cardiac arrest or drowning.