Be safe around frozen water

Monday February 9th 2015

Following a recent incident in Midlothian, where two children fell through ice into water in a local pond, Scottish Water and Midlothian Council have issued a reminder to parents and children on how to be safe around frozen water. Fortunately this time the children are safe and well. Ice can be an attraction, especially to children, but please be aware of and remember the dangers that ice poses and keep safe.

Scottish Water Ice Danger Warning

Although it may be tempting and seem safe to walk on frozen reservoirs, rivers, lochs and streams, ice can be very thin and the water beneath is likely to be very deep and extremely cold. As soon as you or your pet go on to frozen water there is a risk of someone falling through the ice into the freezing water. If this happens, you and/or your pet could be at risk of drowning.

Another hidden danger is the strong undercurrents caused by the fact that water is being continually drawn into large submerged pipes.

Reservoirs are man made features and because of their purpose, they have a number of unique hidden dangers. These relate mainly to built structures such as dams, spillways (overflows) and water intakes (underwater pipe work that takes water out of the reservoir) and the effects of these.

If you are out walking, follow these simple steps

  • Don’t wander too near the edge because you could slip and fall in
  • Don’t be tempted to test the thickness of the ice; it’s easy to slip from the bank and fall through
  • Keep the kids safe. Parents should explain the dangers of playing on frozen reservoirs and water to their children. Safety education is a priority
  • Adults should set a good example by staying off the ice themselves
  • Protect your pets. Dog owners should ensure they keep their pets on a lead
  • Reservoirs are dangerous. If you fall in your life is in danger. The majority of reservoirs are remote and so there is a lack of immediate assistance
  • Make sure you wear appropriate clothing and footwear
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