During this difficult time for everyone across the UK, with rinks shut and icy conditions appearing, we appreciate the temptation to skate outdoors. Whilst we understand time spent on the ice is a welcome release for many, we must stress the dangers of skating on frozen ponds, lakes, and fields.
The Royal Lifesaving Society UK (RLSS UK) says that although areas with frozen lakes, ponds, canals and reservoirs can be beautiful places to visit during the winter months all too often many people risk their lives by venturing onto frozen water.
Edinburgh Police have also recently warned that “it is impossible to know exactly how thick the ice cover is at all points on a reservoir. As the weather conditions change and temperatures fluctuate this will also impact the ice cover. Going onto the ice is very dangerous.”
Any ice that is walked or skated on must be rigorously tested for the safety of all. We ask that coaches and skaters make themselves aware of the potential safety and insurance implications of skating outdoors.
If all safety aspects are met, and insurances are valid then strict social distancing and government covid-19 guidelines must be adhered to.
Across the UK all nations have reverted to a “stay at home” message due to the rising number of covid-19 cases and the pressures placed on the NHS. Exercise is a vital way to improve physical and mental well-being, but taking unnecessary risks doing so could add to the pressure the NHS is currently facing.
Advice for what to do in an emergency near frozen water can be found here: www.rlss.org.uk/winter-water-safety.