Rugby weather warning not to skate on thin ice

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WITH temperatures set to remain below zero for the rest of the week, people are being urged not to venture out onto icy water.

With canals, ponds, rivers and water-filled quarries around Rugby all starting to freeze over, it may look tempting to try and skate on them.

But while the ice looks solid it is often thin and patchy - and anyone attempting to walk across thin ice could find themselves in an extremely dangerous situation.

According to RoSPA, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, in the last 10 years more than 20 people have drowned nationally after falling through ice into water, while many others have had to be rescued and revived.

Looking at past incidents the individuals most at risk are young children and men of all ages. Children are obviously attracted to frozen lakes and canals as they present natural ice skating opportunities.

However, more than 50 per cent of ice related drowning involved an attempted rescue of another person or a dog. In many instances the dog managed to scramble ashore unaided while the owner did not. It is therefore best not to throw sticks or balls for dogs near frozen water and if they do get into trouble, not to attempt to rescue them by venturing onto the ice.

Cllr Dr Mark Williams, portfolio holder for the sustainable environment at Rugby Borough Council, said: “For anyone thinking of venturing out onto any ice they find, the simple advice is ‘don’t do it’. The ice can look thick enough to support a person’s weight but very rarely is, and people can easily be lulled into a false sense of security.

“The effects of being immersed in cold water take just minutes to take control, and can lead to hypothermia if help isn’t found quickly. It really is not worth putting your life in danger trying to walk or skate on the ice.”