Warning to residents to stay away from frozen lakes, streams and rivers

11/01/2021, PR-9781

​Wakefield Council is warning residents of the hidden dangers of frozen lakes, streams and rivers as the cold weather continues.

Parents are being urged to keep a close eye on small children and keep them away from frozen water. Dogs should be kept on a lead and owners should avoid walking near streams, lakes or rivers.

The Council is advising that precautions should be taken at all times, to minimise the danger of falling into icy water which can kill, sometimes in a matter of minutes. 

Falling into freezing water can cause the body to go into instant physical shock leading to difficulties in breathing and rapid heartbeats which can make the victim become confused and unable to make decisions.

If this happens, and someone falls in, others must not dive in after them. Instead they should call the emergency services on 999. The best way to assist is to remain on dry land and use a rope, pole, branch or item of clothing to pull the person to safety.

Cllr Maureen Cummings
Cllr Maureen Cummings

​Cllr Maureen Cummings, Wakefield Council's Cabinet Member for Environment, Communities and Poverty, said: "I know that during the current national lockdown many people are enjoying going out for walks with the family and enjoying the beautiful landscape that we have around us.

"But as it gets colder the risks become greater, with the threat of frozen lakes, ponds and streams. I would like to remind parents and young people whilst frozen ponds and lakes do look beautiful, there are hidden dangers there.

"Please keep a close eye on young children and pets and keep them away from icy water as they won't appreciate the risks. We want to ensure that everyone stays safe when outside during the cold weather."