Falkirk Community Trust urges public to stay off frozen water following dog rescue incident

Members of the public are being urged not to walk on frozen ponds or canals after a dog fell through ice near The Helix.

By Jonathon Reilly
Friday, 8th January 2021, 5:13 pm
Updated Friday, 8th January 2021, 5:13 pm

A man and woman are also believed to have gone into the water during this afternoon’s incident at the Falkirk tourist attraction.

Falkirk Community Trust (FCT), which manages the site, is pleading with those who use its facilities to be cautious.

An FCT spokeswoman said: “With the drop in temperatures, many of the ponds are freezing across our parks and although it may seem safe, we urge all visitors to avoid walking on what will in fact be fairly thin ice.

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A dog had to be rescued from the Forth and Clyde canal at near The Helix, Falkirk. Picture: Michael Gillen.

“In winter, children and pets are particularly at risk when tempted to play on the ice formed on open water and adults can find themselves at risk in attempting to save them.

“As part of your daily exercise during this period of lockdown, taking a nice walk in cold weather with your family, friends or dogs in tow can be really refreshing, just make sure you know some simple tips on how to stay safe in winter.

“The Helix Park, Callendar Park and Kinneil and Muiravonside all have areas of water and are beautiful places to visit during the winter months but all too often many people risk their lives by venturing onto frozen water.

“Falkirk Community Trust and The Royal Life Saving Society UK want everyone to be able to enjoy being in, on or around water, safely.”

The RLSS UK has published a list of useful tips on ways of staying safe around frozen water.

This includes:

Teaching children not to go onto the ice under any circumstances

Don’t go onto ice or into the water to rescue a dog, move to somewhere that the dog will be able to climb out and call them towards you

Keep dogs on their leads when near ice and don’t throw sticks or toys onto the ice

Time your walks to make the most of the daylight; if you need to walk in the evening only use well-lit areas or take a route not alongside water

When walking alongside water keep back from the edge

If you see someone in the water, shout for help and call 999

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