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Emergency services / Coastguards warn: ‘Stay off the ice’

Photo: Shetland Coastguard

EMERGENCY services in Shetland have sent out their strongest warning yet to “stay off the ice” after being called out to reports of children playing on the ice on both Clickimin and Tingwall lochs on Sunday evening.

They responded after receiving several calls from people expressing their concern.

Volunteers from the Lerwick Coastguard rescue team attended both locations, and a number of youths at Clickimin Loch were given safety advice by police officers.

Dave Sweeney of Shetland Coastguard said playing on the ice could be extremely dangerous.

“Please don’t risk your own, children’s or pet’s safety by venturing onto frozen water,” he said.

“Ice can look and feel solid, however it can suddenly break causing a person or animal to fall through. Falling through the ice brings the risk of becoming trapped underneath.

“If you are walking near iced up water please always ensure children are kept well away from the ice and don’t throw sticks or balls onto the ice for your pet.

“The low temperature of the water can also bring on cold water shock which can be potentially deadly.

And he added: “If you find yourself or anyone else in trouble on or near the coast dial 999 and ask for Coastguard. Please don’t try and attempt the rescue yourself.”

Asta Golf Course, meanwhile, also warned people against going on the icy lochs in the Tingwall valley.

“Please have sense and do not go onto the lochs at this time,” it wrote on Facebook.

“We have witnessed folk with children far out on the ice of both the Tingwall and Asta lochs. They are deep lochs.

“Please please have sense and don’t go out on the ice. It’s beginning to thaw and can break at any time.”