Colchester: Chilling warning over frozen lakes

EMERGENCY services have warned against walking on ice after two teenagers were seen on a frozen lake in Colchester.

The pair, thought to be around 14 years old, were spotted on a boating pond in Castle Park on Wednesday afternoon.

It comes just days after a man fell through ice on a lake in Rochford, Essex, and later died.

“We’re warning to people is not to go on icy ponds or lakes in any circumstances,” said a spokeswoman for Essex Police. “If you fall into icy water, you could be dead in minutes.

“There’s no way to tell whether the ice is strong enough to hold your weight and therefore you don’t want to find out by falling through it.”

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Martyn Hodder, of Essex Fire and Rescue, speaking after the fatal incident in Rochford on Sunday, said: “Incidents like this show how important it is not to walk on the ice ever.

“There is no way to tell whether or not the ice will hold your weight and by the time you find out it might already be too late. Just minutes in icy water can be enough to kill.

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“Our warning to people is do not go onto icy ponds or lakes under any circumstances, just by stepping out onto the ice you are taking your life into your hands and it is simply not worth the risk.”

Meanwhile the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) warned against trying to rescue people or dogs from frozen lakes.

Its analysis of 20 frozen water deaths from recent years found that the victim had been attempting to rescue another person or a dog in more than half of the incidents.

Peter Cornall, RoSPA’s head of leisure safety, said: “Ice-related drownings are easily preventable.

“We advise people to take care around the edges of lakes and rivers because snow can obscure them, and we recommend that dogs are kept on a lead so they do not run out on to the ice.

“Although frozen water can look tempting, there’s simply no way of knowing whether the ice will hold your weight and it’s often too late by the time you find out that it won’t.

“We encourage parents to talk to their children about the hazards of frozen water and what to do if they see someone fall through the ice.”

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