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Youngsters walking on thin ice spark council warning


By David G Scott

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Highland Council warned today about the dangers of venturing on to frozen rivers and lochs after images were shared of young people walking on ice.

This warning is issued as the local authority also received concerns from locals across the region about people walking or playing on frozen water with Loch Watten being highlighted as an example.

Earlier today, youths were "spotted putting their lives in danger" by venturing onto a frozen lochan in Inverness. The Inverness Courier posted photographs taken at the Inverness College UHI campus which clearly showed them standing on the frozen ice.

These teens were seen walking on ice at a lochan in Inverness today.Picture: Inverness Courier
These teens were seen walking on ice at a lochan in Inverness today.Picture: Inverness Courier

Youngsters in the Highlands have been warned not to copy them because of the danger of thin ice breaking and plunging them into the water below.

The site is owned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and a spokeswoman said: "We urge people to stay away from the ice and not to take risks around the frozen lochan at Inverness campus.”

The council urges the public to be aware of the risks of going onto or allowing children and pets to go onto ice.

Dogs can stray on to frozen stretches of water and get into trouble as well.
Dogs can stray on to frozen stretches of water and get into trouble as well.

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, more than 50 per cent of all drowning cases involving ice in the UK involved the attempted rescue of another person or a pet.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service warns that while ice can look and feel solid, it can suddenly crack and cause a person to fall through and potentially become trapped under it.

The council is aware that concerns have been raised across the region of people walking on ice such as at Whin Park in Inverness and on Watten Loch in Caithness.

Though Wick river is shallow in this area the upper stretches can be deep. Children were seen today walking along frozen parts.Picture: Alan Hendry
Though Wick river is shallow in this area the upper stretches can be deep. Children were seen today walking along frozen parts.Picture: Alan Hendry

The message from Highland Council is simple – “Please stay off the ice” – but if you find yourself or someone else in trouble, dial 999 and ask for the fire service immediately. Do not attempt to rescue anyone yourself.

For more information on cold water shock please visit the RNLI website at rnli.org/safety/know-the-risks/cold-water-shock

For more information on how to stay safe around frozen water, visit www.rlss.org.uk/winter-water-safety or www.rospa.com/leisure-safety/water/advice/ice

PICTURES: Youngsters risk their lives by skating on potentially thin ice at Inverness campus


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