Stay safe by staying off frozen water
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Police are urging people to stay safe by staying off frozen water. A number of lakes and reservoirs may freeze and, whilst they may look enticing as a skating opportunity, the ice is a very dangerous place. Most reservoirs have a shelving slope before they drop off into deeper water and it's extremely dangerous if people venture on to ice not knowing how deep the water is below them and particularly how thick or, in most cases, how thin the ice is they are standing on.
Dog owners must be careful around frozen water and not throw sticks or balls onto ice. Should a dog go onto the ice and get into difficulty don't attempt to carry out a rescue.
Safety advice - what to do if you see someone fall through the ice.
Never venture onto frozen ponds and lakes, no matter how safe it looks
Shout for assistance and send for the emergency services - call 999 or 112 - it's a free call from any phone
Shout to the casualty to keep still
Try and reach them from the bank using a rope, pole, a tree branch, clothing tied together or anything else that extends your reach
When reaching from the bank, lie down to avoid being pulled onto the ice
If you cannot reach them, slide something that floats like a rescue buoy across the ice for them to hold on to stay afloat
If the casualty is out of reach, wait for the emergency services while calming and reassuring them.
If you have been able to rescue the casualty from the ice:
Make sure the ambulance is on its way
Lay them flat, check their breathing and pulse and begin resuscitation if necessary
Prevent them from getting colder by putting them in a sleeping bag or covering them including their head, with blankets or spare clothing
Get them under shelter out of the cold
Do not undress them until the casualty is in a warm place
Do not rub their skin, apply hot water or give an alcoholic drink
Keep them wrapped up so that they warm up gradually
If you fall through the ice:
Keep calm and call for help
If no help is available spread your arms across the surface of the ice
If the ice is strong enough kick your legs and slide onto the ice
Lie flat and pull yourself to the bank
If the ice is very thin, break it in front of you and make your way to the shore
If you cannot climb out, wait for help keeping as still as possible
Press your arms by your side and keep your legs together
Once you are safe, go to hospital immediately for a check-up.