UK weather: Children pictured playing on frozen pond one day after Solihull lake deaths


A group of teenagers were seen playing on a frozen pond just one day after four young boys fell into frozen water, leaving three dead and one critically injured.

Nine children were photographed playing on the frozen Brinkburn Pond Nature Reserve in Darlington on Monday afternoon, prompting warning from a concerned community member.

‘Just keep your kids safe,’ the individual who posted the image online – and wished to remain anonymous – has cautioned. 

Local authorities have issued stark warnings to parents about the dangers of frozen waters as Britain continues to battle a spell of extreme cold. Temperatures have plummeted in the last week, with a yellow weather warnings for snow and ice currently in place as some areas across the UK are expected to reach lows of -5C.

A group of teenagers were seen playing on the frozen Brinkburn Pond Nature Reserve in Darlington on Monday afternoon

A group of teenagers were seen playing on the frozen Brinkburn Pond Nature Reserve in Darlington on Monday afternoon

The photo was taken just one day after four young boys fell into frozen water, leaving three dead and one critically injured. Pictured: Officers from West Midlands Police laid bouquets yesterday to pay tribute to the boys who fell into a lake at Babbs Mill Park in Kingshurst

The photo was taken just one day after four young boys fell into frozen water, leaving three dead and one critically injured. Pictured: Officers from West Midlands Police laid bouquets yesterday to pay tribute to the boys who fell into a lake at Babbs Mill Park in Kingshurst

Several community members took to social media to share their thoughts on the image, with one brandishing it as ‘scary’ and another as ‘dangerous.’ 

Earlier this week, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service issued a warning to people about winter water safety, which was later shared by Darlington Council.

It said: ‘With temperatures set to remain very cold, many ponds and other stretches of water are at risk of freezing. Whilst they may look solid, they can be extremely dangerous and very unlikely to hold your weight.

‘We are urging parents to please speak to your children about the potential consequences if someone goes through into the frozen water. We would also like to urge people to keep their pets on leads near water.’

Cleveland Police also shared a post yesterday from the Royal Life Saving Society UK. It said: ‘This weekend we had an extremely cold spell which meant many bodies of water froze over. 

‘We have lots of detailed safety information on our website which will help keep you safe during the winter.

‘The key things to remember are: 1. Never go onto the ice to play, to retrieve an object, or a pet. 2. Never enter the ice to rescue somebody, call 999 and ask for the Fire and Rescue Service.’

Similarly, Carlisle Police reported that 20 to 30 children were seen playing on the ice at Hammonds Pond after school on Monday. 

‘Luckily none of them fell through into the water,’ officers said, adding: ‘Please stay off the ice. This is extremely dangerous and could be fatal.’

The force took to Twitter urging parents to ‘ensure your children are safe and educated on the risks.’

Children were also seen playing on frozen lakes in Bedfordshire yesterday evening, prompting the community’s fire and rescue service to ‘urge members of the public and children not to venture onto frozen water’. 

Police have been on the lake at Babbs Mill Park in Kingshurst since the incident on Sunday, which claimed the lives of three boys

Police have been on the lake at Babbs Mill Park in Kingshurst since the incident on Sunday, which claimed the lives of three boys

Several local authorities have taken to social media to warm community members about the dangers of playing in icy water

Several local authorities have taken to social media to warm community members about the dangers of playing in icy water

The stark water safety warnings followed the tragic deaths of three schoolboys – aged eight, 10 and 11 – who fell through the ice on a frozen lake in Kingshurst, Solihull on Sunday.

A fourth boy, aged six, remains fighting for his life in hospital. At the time of the incident, temperatures were thought to be around 1C degree in the area.

The children had been playing on the ice when it gave way. 

Tommy Barnet, 10, who witnessed the scene told Sky News: ‘One got their legs stuck in the ice and then… his friends went to go and save him, but they all fell in.’ 

Oliwia Szewc, 13, who was meeting a friend on Sunday when the tragedy struck, bravely attempted to save the boys.

She recalled desperately pulling off tree branches to pass to the boys to help pull them out but that they were all too short. 

‘I was just trying my best to think of different ways to at least help them or do anything for them to float on the surface of the water so they wouldn’t drown,’ Oliwia told ITV News yesterday.

She said she knew she would have to wait for emergency services before a man she believed to be one of the boys’ relatives jumped into the water.   

Ten-year-old Jack Johnson was among the boys who lost their lives, with his aunt saying on Facebook that he 'ran and tried to save' three other children - aged six, eight and 11 - who had been on the frozen lake when the ice broke

Ten-year-old Jack Johnson was among the boys who lost their lives, with his aunt saying on Facebook that he ‘ran and tried to save’ three other children – aged six, eight and 11 – who had been on the frozen lake when the ice broke

Police are seen in the lake at Babbs Mill Park in Solihull again yesterday after the deaths of three boys aged eight, 10 and 11

Police are seen in the lake at Babbs Mill Park in Solihull again yesterday after the deaths of three boys aged eight, 10 and 11

Police officers are seen on the lake at Babbs Mill Park in Solihull on Monday after a number of children fell through ice at the weekend

Police officers are seen on the lake at Babbs Mill Park in Solihull on Monday after a number of children fell through ice at the weekend

Oliwia added: ‘He jumped into the frozen lake and cut up his legs but couldn’t really do anything because he was putting his own life at risk. He didn’t go any farther because the police held him back.’

The teenager said one of the boys’ mother arrived and was ‘in a panic’ as police officers comforted her while breaking up the ice. 

The young girl had given directions to West Midlands Police after calling 999, describing the call as a ‘whole panic’ as she was ‘still in shock’. 

The four boys were all in cardiac arrest when police and fire crews pulled them out of the lake. Despite efforts, the three older children could not be saved. 

When the boys were pulled out, Oliwia said ambulance workers ‘were asking for jackets and coats to try to bring the boys, like, temperature back up.’

She added: ‘I gave my coat, my friend gave her jacket. We were just kind of praying that the boys would be all right.  I was willing to give up anything just at least to save one of them.

‘Knowing that one of them’s still in hospital is kind of a relief because I was at least able to help someone. It was just horrifying and I was just clueless because I tried to help but I couldn’t but I tried my best.’

A diving team are seen at Babbs Mill lake in Solihull yesterday, as mourners continue to lay flowers

A diving team are seen at Babbs Mill lake in Solihull yesterday, as mourners continue to lay flowers

Jack (pictured here with his father Kirk) suffered a cardiac arrest after entering the water on Sunday

Jack (pictured here with his father Kirk) suffered a cardiac arrest after entering the water on Sunday

All four boys were in cardiac arrest when police and fire crews pulled them out of the lake. Despite efforts, the three older children could not be saved. Pictured: Crews searching the lake at Babbs Mill Park in Kingshurst yesterday

All four boys were in cardiac arrest when police and fire crews pulled them out of the lake. Despite efforts, the three older children could not be saved. Pictured: Crews searching the lake at Babbs Mill Park in Kingshurst yesterday

Oliwia Szewc (pictured), 13, who was meeting a friend on Sunday when the tragedy struck, said she was desperately pulling off tree branches to try and pass to the boys to help pull them out but that they were all too short

Oliwia Szewc (pictured), 13, who was meeting a friend on Sunday when the tragedy struck, said she was desperately pulling off tree branches to try and pass to the boys to help pull them out but that they were all too short

Since the tragedy, dozens of tributes have been placed at the scene for the three boys, including ones left by members of the emergency services, the NHS, politicians, local football team Marston Green FC and friends of the children.

One pays tribute to one of the boys by name, saying: ‘To my friend Thomas. Thanks for being there for me when I was sad. Thanks for lending me your jacket when I was cold.’  

England World Cup ace Jude Bellingham, 19, also paid tribute, sharing an image of a vigil held by grief-stricken locals on Instagram, writing: ‘Sending love and support to the families, RIP.’ Bellingham was born in nearby Dudley. 

Jack Johnson, 10, was also revealed to be among the children who lost their lives, with his aunt saying on Facebook that he ‘ran and tried to save’ three other children – including a six-year-old – who had been on the frozen lake when the ice broke. 

The other two victims have not yet been publicly identified. 

The heartbroken community in Solihull gathered for a vigil last night to pay tribute to the boys.

Since the tragedy, dozens of tributes have been placed at the scene for the three boys, including ones left by members of the emergency services, the NHS, politicians, local football team Marston Green FC and friends of the children

Since the tragedy, dozens of tributes have been placed at the scene for the three boys, including ones left by members of the emergency services, the NHS, politicians, local football team Marston Green FC and friends of the children 

Dozens of heartbreaking floral tributes have been laid near the lake where three boys lost their lives after plunging through ice on a frozen lake Sunday. Tearful members of the community continued to come by yesterday to lay tributes near Babbs Mill Park in Solihull

Dozens of heartbreaking floral tributes have been laid near the lake where three boys lost their lives after plunging through ice on a frozen lake Sunday. Tearful members of the community continued to come by yesterday to lay tributes near Babbs Mill Park in Solihull

Three mourners are seen paying their respects with bunches of flowers yesterday

Three mourners are seen paying their respects with bunches of flowers yesterday

Mourners on Monday night light candles next to floral and written tributes to the three boys who tragically died in the incident in Babbs Mill Park on Sunday

Mourners on Monday night light candles next to floral and written tributes to the three boys who tragically died in the incident in Babbs Mill Park on Sunday

Mr John Eustace, who was born in Solihull, laid a floral wreath of blue and white yesterday at the foot of a tree which has become the focal point of mourning near Babbs Mill Lake

Mr John Eustace, who was born in Solihull, laid a floral wreath of blue and white yesterday at the foot of a tree which has become the focal point of mourning near Babbs Mill Lake

Teddy bear tributes are seen among the flowers near Babbs Mill Park in Kingshurst yesterday

Teddy bear tributes are seen among the flowers near Babbs Mill Park in Kingshurst yesterday

The Met Office has extended yellow warnings for snow and ice throughout the UK, furthering concerns for winter weather related fatalities.

On Monday, Met Police recovered the body of a man in his 20s from the River Thames near London Bridge around 9.25pm.

Investigators say the man was seen entering the river earlier in the evening and ‘the circumstances of the death are not being treated as suspicious.’ 

Police have notified the man’s next of kin, but have not yet identified him publicly. 

Meantime, snow and ice warnings continue for Britons today after thousands were left without power in freezing conditions overnight.

Forecasters extended a yellow warning for snow and ice covering northern Scotland and north east England until noon on Friday.

It comes as the Scottish Government declared a major incident for Shetland on Tuesday after thousands of homes were left without power amid plummeting temperatures.

A man has died after falling into the 'freezing' River Thames Monday night as temperatures reached -3C degrees

A man has died after falling into the ‘freezing’ River Thames Monday night as temperatures reached -3C degrees

The body of the unidentified man was recovered near London Bridge around 9.25pm on Monday, Met Police have confirmed. Investigators say the man is believed to have been seen entering the water around 5.30pm

Police have notified the man's next of kin. The circumstances of the death are not being treated as suspicious

The body of the unidentified man was recovered near London Bridge around 9.25pm on Monday, Met Police have confirmed. Investigators say the man is believed to have been seen entering the water around 5.30pm

The Met Office has extended a yellow warning for snow and ice covering northern Scotland and north east England until noon on Friday

The Met Office has extended a yellow warning for snow and ice covering northern Scotland and north east England until noon on Friday

SSEN Distribution is working to restore supplies to about 2,800 homes, but warned full restoration is only likely by the end of the week. 

Met Office spokesperson Becky White said that areas covered by the latest weather warnings could see up to 10cm of fresh snow on higher ground. 

‘We could see a good few new centimetres of snow accumulation,’ Ms White said.

‘We could see around 1-4cms at lower levels and 5-10cm on higher ground across the Highlands.’

An ice warning is also in place in eastern England until noon today.

The national forecaster has also added a yellow ice warning in northern parts of Northern Ireland, including Belfast, from noon yesterday until noon today. 

‘There will be a risk of ice across the country over the next few days, but particularly tonight,’ she said.

‘There is a band of rain moving in from the South West, but it may turn into snow as it reaches land.’



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