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Ice: The Dangers of Frozen Waterways

08.12.10

Frozen Pond

There was an incident on CHORLEYWOOD COMMON yesterday where a young boy fell through the ice of one of the ponds. He had been "dared" to walk across.

He was very, very fortunate that an adult was walking nearby and heard the shouts and managed to get him to safety and warmth very quickly.

If you have any children or grandchildren, and ponds, lakes or canals nearby please inform them of this incident and how dangerous it is around frozen water at this time of year and at no stage should they go anywhere near it.

The following advice is given on the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents website. Please read it as you may save a life if you come across something similar to that described above.

So what action should be taken in these circumstances to assist the casualty without putting the rescuer at risk?

  • Call for assistance from the emergency services.
  • Do not attempt to go out onto the ice yourself.
  • Instruct the casualty to keep still to maintain heat and energy.
  • Try to find something that will extend your reach, such as a rope, pole, branch or item of clothing.
  • Throw this or reach out to the casualty with it. Then, making sure you are stable on the bank, by lying down or getting someone to hold onto you, attempt to pull the person to the shore.
  • It is advisable for staff that are working at such sites to carry with them (or in their vehicle) a throw line for this purpose.
  • If you cannot find something with which to perform a reach or throw rescue, try to find something that will float to throw or push out to them. This will help to keep the casualty afloat until assistance arrives.
  • Through your rescue KEEP OFF THE ICE, continue to reassure the casualty and keep them talking until help arrives.
  • If the rescue is successful the casualty will need to be kept warm and treated for shock.
  • All casualties should be taken to hospital even if they appear to be unaffected by their ordeal.

Contact: Angling Trust Eastwood House, 6 Rainbow Street, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 8DQ
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