The deaths of three boys who fell into a frozen lake is a “stark reminder” of the dangers of open water, West Midlands Fire Service area commander Richard Stanton has said.
The boys, aged eight, 10 and 11, died after falling through ice into the lake in Solihull in the West Midlands on Sunday.
A fourth boy, six, remains in a critical condition in hospital after being pulled from the water by emergency crews, including a police officer who tried to punch through ice during the rescue efforts.
“Frozen lakes, ponds, canals and reservoirs can look picturesque but they can be lethal and there are no greater warnings of this than yesterday’s tragic events.
“We would ask parents and carers to remind their children of the dangers of ice and why they must keep off it. Please help us to avoid this from happening again.”
He said: “They were joined by other members of the other emergency services. Some of the officers went in waist-deep.
“One of my officers was trying to punch through the ice to actually rescue the children themselves. That officer, as a result of that, had some mild hypothermia yesterday.
Temperatures are thought to have plunged to 1C in the area at the time of the incident, falling to minus 3C overnight.
Mr Harris said there are a number of witnesses officers still want to speak to and appealed for anyone with information to contact the force.