Stay safe around water

Stay safe around water

We want to ensure visitors to Lee Valley stay safe during their visit so read our dos and don'ts on how to stay safe around water.

In the lead up to cold and icy weather, visitors to Lee Valley are being advised not to be tempted to set foot on the frozen rivers and lakes around the park under any circumstances.

In wintry weather it’s important to take extra care of yourself and others by frozen water so it can be enjoyed from a distance but not to put yourself or others at risk by ignoring safety advice.

Information provided by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) show that over 50% of ice related drownings involved an attempted rescue of another person or a dog. In many instances the dog managed to scramble ashore unaided while the owner did not.

Many of the water bodies in the Regional Park used to be gravel pits and people can underestimate how dangerous they can be. Under the ice there are shallow shelves dropping without notice into very deep water and there are underwater obstructions from the original gravel abstraction as well as thick aquatic vegetation as part of the natural environment.

Rangers from Lee Valley Regional Park Authority and community safety service Parkguard will be undertaking extra patrols around the water areas when there’s ice and will speak to people to give advice.



Staying safe around water

Please watch the short film by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency below about staying safe around cold water.

To remain safe around frozen water in Lee Valley Regional Park:

  • Think SAFE – Stay Away From the Edge
  • Do not ice skate on frozen water
  • Do not attempt to rescue wildlife stranded on the ice
  • If the ice gives way, it can cause hypothermia and ultimately drowning
  • If you see anyone or any animal in danger, call 999 urgently for help

Parents:

  • Do discuss the dangers of playing on or near frozen water, so children are aware
  • Do make sure you know where your children are while out in the park
  • Do not leave children unsupervised near frozen ponds, rivers, lakes or other bodies of water

Dog walkers:

  • Do keep your dog on a lead at all times near frozen water
  • Do not throw balls and sticks for your dog near frozen water
  • Do not follow or attempt to fetch back your dog if it goes onto the ice
  • Do not attempt to try to rescue a dog if it gets into trouble, you will put your own life in danger
  • Call 999 for help

If you see someone get into trouble:

  • Call the emergency services 999
  • Do not attempt to go out on the ice yourself
  • Tell the person to ‘keep still’ to maintain heat and energy, and offer reassurance to keep them clam
  • Try finding something which will extend your reach, such as a rope, pole, clothing tied together or branch
  • Once ensuring you are stable on the bank either by lying down or having someone hold on to you, throw the object out and pull them in
  • If you cannot find something to reach with, try finding an object that will float and throw that out to them
  • Ensure that you keep off the ice at all times during the rescue, continue to reassure the casualty and keep them talking until help arrives
  • Once the person has been rescued, keep them warm by covering them with warm clothing, blankets etc. Do not undress them until they are in a warm place
  • Do not rub their skin and do not give an alcoholic drink
  • The casualty must go to hospital even if they appear to be unaffected

Further tips and advice:

  • Always let others know where you walking and put on extra layers when out in the Park during winter months
  • In icy conditions many car parks, paths and bridges could be slippery under foot
  • Be aware of your surroundings, nearby access routes or names of car parks should you need to provide location information to emergency services
  • A number of our bridges are labelled with reference numbers that can be provided to emergency services to help them locate you
  • Should you wish to report anything of concern to the Regional Park Authority then please either call 03000 030 610 between 08:00 - 17:00 or 01992 210 196 between 17:00 - 08:00

Promotions

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Stay safe water summer

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To report any of the following:

  • unruly or dangerous behaviour in and around water
  • accidents, incidents or near misses
  • wildlife trapped on/in the water                                          

For any incidents call 03000 030 610 between 08:00 - 17:00
or 01992 210 196 between 17:00 - 08:00

In an emergency call 999
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