'It’s extremely fortunate we weren’t faced with a fatality' says fire commissioner (From Haringey Independent)
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London Fire Brigade issues warning over frozen lakes
London Fire Brigade has warned people to stay off frozen lakes and ponds after they rescued a man who had fallen through ice trying to save his dog.
Firefighters had to rescue a man and his dog from the boating lake in Alexandra Palace yesterday evening after the pet fell into the freezing waters.
At Ally Pally, man and dog were reunited after crews pulled the man to safety and retrieved the Bordeaux Mastiff from the island in the centre of the lake.
The brigade also had to save another man from a frozen lake in Regents Park in central London, and a child stuck on his sledge in the middle of a frozen lake in Uxbridge on Saturday.
Jim Knighton, commissioner for operational procedures for the Fire Brigade said: “To put it bluntly, it’s extremely fortunate we weren’t faced with a fatality yesterday.
“If people fall into an icy lake, hypothermia will quickly set in and they won’t survive for very long.
“People with dogs should keep them on a lead and keep a close eye on them. It’s so easy for dogs to run off and end up in difficulty as we saw in London yesterday.
“If a pet ends up in trouble, call 999 and stay put, rather than attempting to rescue it yourself.
“Parents should also talk to their children about the dangers of going on the ice. Ice may look sturdy enough to stand on but it usually isn’t and easily breaks.”