Hemsworth councillors are urging residents to stay away from frozen lakes and ponds as winter approaches.
Coun Ann Westmorland, vice chairman of Hemsworth Town Council’s recreation committee, has pleaded with residents to stay off the ice, to make sure that children know the dangers and to keep dogs on their leads.
The council runs the Hemsworth Water Park, in Kinsley, which has two lakes.
The Hoyle Mill Road park was the scene of tragedy in 1995, when off-duty firefighter Michael Mee, 48, and Jack Crawshaw, 51, died while trying to rescue 11-year-old Tracey Pattison, who plunged through the ice. The youngster, who was trying to rescue a dog, also died.
Coun Westmorland said: “We see it almost every year - children are playing on the ice and sometimes their parents are stood by laughing. They just do not realise how deep it is or what sort of tragedy can happen. Parents need to educate their children and keep all animals on a lead so they don’t need rescuing too.”
Anyone who sees someone fall through the ice should call 999 and should not go on the ice themselves. If they get out before emergency services arrive they should be kept warm before being taken to hospital, even if they appear to be unaffected.
Wakefield Council backed the call to stay away from frozen ponds, streams and lakes.
Coun Maureen Cummings, cabinet member for environment, said: “We want people to enjoy themselves but everyone needs to be responsible and take extreme care around frozen water.
“I am urging people not to walk out on to the ice because you never know whether it will hold your weight – it might look thick but the chances are it isn’t.
“By the time you find out, it may be too late. Stay safe and stay away from frozen water.”