North East fire crews warn people to stay off frozen lakes after three boys die in Solihull tragedy

North East fire crews warn people to stay off frozen lakes after three boys die in Solihull tragedy

Following the tragic death of three children in the West Midlands, people are being reminded never to walk on frozen rivers and lakes.

Three boys, aged eight, 10 and 11, died on Sunday after falling into an icy lake in Solihull, near Birmingham – and a fourth boy, aged six, remains in critical condition in hospital.

With temperatures forecast to drop to -15C in some areas of the UK, the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) and County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service (CDDFRS) are reminding people to stay safe in use caution near open water.

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TWFRS Station Manager for Byker and Gosforth Jay Shepherd said: “We would like to send our deepest condolences to the victims and families of those affected by the tragic incident in Solihull yesterday which resulted in the death of three children after falling through ice on a lake.

“Our thoughts are also with the responders, including our colleagues from the West Midlands Fire Service, who are continuing their work on the scene today.

“Incidents like this rock communities and make us all want to hold loved ones that little bit closer. But they are also terrible reminders of the dangers of the water.

“We have large patches of water in Tyne and Wear that will be iced over in this cold weather. We ask that you never walk on ice or enter bodies of water.

“If you see someone in trouble, don’t go in the water. Call 999 immediately and try to reach them with an item from the mainland.

“Incidents like this are extremely rare but can have tragic consequences, as we saw in Solihull.”

Michael Pearson, Group Leader for Community Risk Management at CDDFRS, said: “We would like to offer our deepest condolences to the victims and families of those affected by the tragic incident in Solihull.

“Our thoughts are also with the rescue workers who are continuing their work on site today.

“With temperatures expected to remain very cold, many ponds and other bodies of water are at risk of freezing. Although they look solid, they can be extremely dangerous and are very unlikely to hold your weight.

“If you are with someone or a pet who is getting into trouble in the water, don’t put yourself in danger by getting in the water. Immediately dial 999.”

Councilor Claire Rowntree, Deputy Chairwoman of Sunderland City Council and Cabinet Member for Clean Green City, said:

“Our thoughts are with everyone involved in the Solihull tragedy. I urge everyone to protect themselves by following the advice of the Royal Life Saving Society on winter water safety: We now know that…” – Royal Life Saving Society UK – RLSS UK | Facebook.

David Walker, Head of Road and Leisure Safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said: “Given the current weather conditions, it is important that people take extra care around open water. If you meet someone who is in trouble on or near ice, it’s important that you don’t go inside as well.

“Call emergency services on 999. If you can, find something they can hold on to, like a pole or life preserver, and help them stay afloat.”

The tragic news was confirmed by West Midlands Police on Monday morning. Emergency services were first called to Babbs Mill Park in the Kingshurst area of ​​Solihull near Birmingham at 2.36pm on Sunday, where it was reported four children had been playing on the ice and had fallen into the lake.

Members of the public and law enforcement officers first went into the cool water to try to extricate the youths before the children were reached by specialized firefighters trained in water rescue who escorted the group to safety. Those pulled from the water were immediately put on life support by ambulances and firefighters before being taken to the hospital.


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