Warning for people on deep frozen water
Stay off deep frozen water. That is the message from West Lothian Council during the coldest weather to hit Scotland in decades.
Recent national press reports have highlighted those taking advantage of frozen lakes and ponds to take part in Curling and Skating activities.
However, residents in West Lothian are being urged not to follow suit and to stay off frozen lakes, ponds, reservoirs and canals.
Council Leader Peter Johnston warned: "Activities on locations, such as the Lake of Menteith, are unique and have been properly assessed by professionals, who carry out tests to ensure the ice is thick enough and strong enough to withstand people walking on it.
"However, the vast majority of deep frozen water areas have not been tested and there is no way of knowing whether the ice is strong enough to withhold a person standing on it.
"Each year throughout the UK, several people die from falling through frozen ice, in most instances children or pets are involved.
"The risks are simply not worth it and I would strongly urge everyone to stay off frozen ponds and canals. It may seem like fun at the time but if you were to fall through the ice, there is a good chance that the consequences will be severe."
"The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has issued good advice which is helpful and should be followed."
Visit: www.rospa.com (new window) for more information.
Steve Dunlop, director, British Waterways Scotland added: "As the freezing weather continues, we are witnessing an increasing number of children (and adults) venturing onto the frozen canal network. In this particularly unique period of icy weather, we are issuing a safety warning discouraging people from walking on the frozen surface. We are most concerned about the very real dangers which will arise if children, in particular, continue to walk on deep frozen water when the ice begins to thaw"