Fire Service in urgent warning after reports of children playing on ice

A photograph of an icy Killingworth Lake in North Tyneside

Concerned fire chiefs have urged parents to have serious conversations with their children after reports of people trying to walk on frozen stretches of water.

On Sunday evening tragedy struck in Solihull in the West Midlands when four children fell through ice after reportedly walking on a frozen over lake in the sub-zero temperatures.

Emergency services in the area have sadly confirmed that three of those involved have sadly passed away, while a fourth continues to fight for their life in hospital.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) offered their condolences to those involved earlier this week and said it was a “tragic reminder” of the dangers of walking on ice.

But despite their pleas for people to learn from the devastating events in Solihull, 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.

Thankfully nobody has been reported to have fallen through ice at these locations but, with sub-zero temperatures expected to continue this week, fire chiefs have once again called on support of parents.

Station Manager, 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 that it was imperative communities also show their support.

Station Manager Ramanayake, 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.”

Here are three slides providing essential safety advice from TWFRS.

In an emergency, always dial 999 and ask for the Fire and Rescue Service. You can find more information around water safety on the TWFRS website.