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Enjoy the lakes in winter – safely

Enjoy the lakes in winter – safely

During the holiday season many of us will be out and about enjoying nature, especially around the Hamptons' scenic lakes.

But while relaxing, it pays to be alert to the hidden dangers of the winter wonderland – snow, ice and freezing water can be a deadly combination.

Every year people drown as a result of accidentally falling into open water, or falling through ice.

Snow can obscure the edges of lakes, so always take care not to get too close, and never venture out on to frozen lakes.

However tempting they look, there is no way to tell if the ice will hold your weight.

An analysis of 20 recent frozen water deaths found that in more than half of them, the victim was attempting to rescue another person or a dog.

If you see a person or animal fall through ice, don't rush out on to the ice to help, instead follow the advice given by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), see below.

Dogs

Dogs are usually better than us at saving themselves – in the frozen water fatalities involving a dog rescue, typically the dog managed to scramble to safety, while its would-be rescuer did not.

You can avoid such a situation in the first place by keeping your dog on a lead near frozen lakes. And never throw sticks or balls on to the ice for your dog to retrieve.

Children

Water can be a magnet for children at any time of year; make sure yours are aware of the dangers, and know what to do in an emergency.

If you see someone fall through ice, RoSPA advises:

  • Call the emergency services
  • Tell the person to stay still to save energy
  • Lie down on the bank, or have someone hold you securely, and reach out to the casualty using a pole, branch or rope If you can't find anything to reach out with, throw them out something that floats
  • Keep them talking until help arrives

There are throw lines attached to the red notice boards at the entrance to most lake areas in the Hamptons.

More information on keeping safe in the Hamptons can be found on the Hampton Outdoors page.

Sea Cadets get exclusive access to Teardrop Lake

Sea Cadets get exclusive access to Teardrop Lake

More Peterborough youngsters will have the chance to get afloat, with the opening of a new waters sports base for Sea Cadets and young rowers at Teardrop Lake in the Hamptons.

Peterborough Sea Cadets Commanding Officer, Sub Lieutenant (SCC) Tass Pitsikas, RNR, said the new facility is a 'dream' come to fruition, and will allow more young people to take part in a wider range of water sports.

Teardrop Lake, in the north-east corner of the Hamptons, will eventually be the focus of the planned Hampton Beach waterfront village development.

The Sea Cadets and the newly formed Hereward Rowing Club have been granted exclusive use of the lake by O&H Hampton, who have provided facilities including an access road and slipway.

It will be used by Cadets, the Rowing Club which caters for junior rowers and local schools who work with the Rowing Club.

The new centre was formally opened on Sunday 9 November with an event attended by Peterborough Mayor David Sanders and Rio 2016 Paralympics Rowing Gold Medallist James Fox, whose father Steve is a Hereward Rowing Club coach.

Star of the occasion was Colin Marshall who joined the Peterborough Sea Cadets in their founding year, 1942, and is still an active volunteer at the age of 89.

The new facility has been named the Colin Marshall Sailing Centre in his honour.

SLt Pitsikas, a Sea Cadet volunteer instructor who is a former Greek Navy mine clearance diver, said: "Since I joined Peterborough Sea Cadets nine years ago it's been an aspiration to make the unit a centre of excellence in water sports training.

"Previously we were restricted to training on the river and could only do rowing and kayaking, now we can expand to sailing and windsurfing and increase the number of cadets we have on the water at any time.

"I want to thank O&H Hampton, and particularly Roger Tallowin who has been a fantastic sponsor and ambassador for us, for helping us to bring our dreams and aspirations to fruition."

For O&H Hampton, Roger said the agreement is a 'win-win' situation: "We are delighted that Teardrop Lake can be enjoyed by people who know how to use the facilities safely and responsibly, and get the best out of them."

Peterborough is home to one of the oldest Sea Cadet units in the country. It currently caters for 90 local girls and boys aged 10-18 who take part in a range of nautical and adventure activities with volunteer instructors.