Be careful around frozen water, sheriff’s department advises

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Frozen pond at Ballinger Park.
Frozen pond at Ballinger Park.

Many local ponds and streambeds froze over during the recent stretch of cold weather. But as temperatures rise this week, so does the danger these frozen bodies of water pose.

Tragedies resulting from someone falling through the ice on frozen ponds and streambeds are rare in this area, but occur enough for the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department to issue warnings of the potential danger.

“Just because a lake or pond is frozen, doesn’t mean it’s safe for walking on,” said Sgt. Scot Fenter, a diver with the Technical Water Rescue Team. “Falling through the ice becomes a fatal situation in a matter of minutes.”

The sheriff’s department gave these tips to remember during extended cold spells:
• Do not walk on any frozen ponds, lakes, rivers or any other frozen water or waterways.
• If you see someone fall through the ice, call 911 immediately. Do not attempt to rescue someone who has fallen through the ice by going out on the ice yourself.
• Keep children away from and off of frozen ponds, lakes, rivers and any other frozen water. Talk to older children about the serious danger of walking on ice.
• Keep pets on a leash at all times if you are near iced-over waterways.

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