Two boys have been rescued from an island in the middle of a frozen lake in Herne Bay
Kent Fire and Rescue Service is urging the public to stay safe during this cold spell after two boys stuck on an island in the middle of a frozen lake had to be rescued by firefighters as icy conditions gripped the county yesterday.
The nine-year-olds walked across ice on a lake in Herne Bay Memorial Park in Dering Road but could not make their way back because the ice had started to crack. Fortunately a passer-by spotted the stricken pair and dialled 999.
Firefighters were called to the scene shortly before midday yesterday. Whitstable’s fire crews, put on dry suits and buoyancy aids while a rescue path - designed specially for water and mud rescues - was inflated.
Crews then pushed their way across the three-inch-thick ice to reach the island about eight feet away. They then helped the boys back to dry land.
Watch Manager Dick Judge, who attended the incident, said: "They were both very lucky lads. The ice was thick enough to take their weight as they made their way to the island, but soon began breaking up. Although the lake isn’t very deep, had the boys fallen through the ice the consequences of their escapades could have been tragic."
Dick added: “Those concerned no doubt didn’t realise how treacherous this adventure was but it is a salient reminder to take real caution in these conditions. Ice is very hard to judge, it may look safe but it isn’t so don’t attempt to walk or stand on it.”
This current spell of bad weather also brings with it other fire safety messages. Although KFRS has well rehearsed plans in place to cope, it would like to remind people not to ring the service unnecessarily. Please also remember the following fire safety tips during this chilly spell. They are:
• If you plan to use an open fire, make sure your chimney is swept as built up soot and ash can cause chimney fires.
• Portable heaters should be dust free and kept well away from anything that could catch fire
• Candles should be placed on a non flammable surface and never be left unattended
• Also, now more than ever, please take the time to check on elderly relatives and neighbours to make sure they are safe, well and free from fire risks.
• Make sure you have a working smoke alarm and test it.