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Please stay away from Frozen Reservoirs Urges NI Water

12 December 2022 14:34

 | NI Water News

Iced-over reservoirs and dams can be a dangerous attraction, particularly for children, warns NI Water.

As temperatures remain below freezing, do not be tempted to stray on to the ice which has formed on reservoirs and dams.

Maynard Cousley, NI Water’s Senior Water Supply Manager said: “The tragic incident over the weekend where three children died after falling through ice on a frozen lake is a sobering reminder of the dangers of water.  People, particularly children, assume the ice is thick enough to play on and it is tempting to step onto it. 

However, ice can be thin in places and as we draw off water for production, the water level will drop away from the ice layer.  This combination heightens the risk of someone falling through the ice into the freezing water. If this happened, there is a very real risk of someone drowning. 

“NI Water needs the help and support of the whole community to assist us in maintaining public safety and please ensure children are warned about the dangers of playing on ice.”

The dangers of water include:

  • Dangerously cold temperatures
  • Hidden currents and outlet pipes: there can be strong underwater currents, which can trouble even the most confident of swimmers. Powerful suction from these hidden outlet pipes can have disastrous consequences for those attempting to swim or play around reservoirs.
  • Reservoirs are often very deep: It is difficult to estimate depth and they can be deeper than you expect.
  • There may be hidden debris or underwater hazards which can cause injury, including weeds and plants, which can entangle you under the water.
  •  It can be very difficult to get out (steep slimy banks).
  • There are no lifeguards on duty.


Caption: Spelga Dam. Picture Credit, Aaron Sherry.

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