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Knowledge

Icy lakes and Waterways Safety Advice for Oxfordshire Residents

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Winter

Residents are being reminded to be careful around open water, particularly during the current icy conditions. There is a risk that ice could break, with anyone walking on the surface falling into the freezing water below.

Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service advice is:

  • Parents and guardians to teach their children not to go onto the ice for any reason.
  • Alter walking routes to avoid going near waterways, or only walk that way in daylight hours to reduce the risk of slipping or falling.
  • Keep dogs on a lead near ice.
  • Don’t throw sticks or toys onto the ice for dogs.
  • Don’t go onto the ice to rescue a dog. Move to somewhere that the animal can climb out and call them to you.

Councillor Jenny Hannaby, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services and Safety, said: “If you encounter somebody who is in trouble on or near ice, it’s vital that you don’t go in too. Call the emergency services on 999. Reassure the person, look for an object like a pole, rope, branch or a life-ring and throw it in to them.”

  • Do not attempt to go out on to the ice yourself.
  • Tell the person to stay still to maintain heat and energy.
  • Try finding something that will extend your reach, such as a rope, pole or branch and throw it to them.
  • Make sure that you are stable on the bank either by lying down or having someone hold on to you and pull the person in the water towards you.
  • If you cannot find something to reach with, try finding an object that will float and push that out to them.
  • Ensure that you always stay off the ice during the rescue.
  • Continue to reassure the person and keep them talking until help arrives.
  • Once the person is out of the water, keep them warm and get them checked by a medical professional even if they appear to be unaffected.

Further advice is available at Ice and frozen water safety | 365Alive

and on the website The Dangers of Frozen Water Factsheet | StayWise

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