PLUMMETING temperatures have led to a stark warning over frozen reservoirs,
Yorkshire Water says the big freeze of 13 years ago saw eight people drowning in ice-related incidents around the UK.
Five of those were dog owners trying to rescue their pets.
The authority, which operates sites across the county including Ogden Reservoir, is urging visitors to stay well clear of the water even if it seems frozen.
Geoff Lomas, catchment and recreation manager at Yorkshire Water, said: “Our reservoirs are popular attractions all year round but, with the cold spell set to continue over the next few days, we’re concerned visitors may be tempted to walk on thin ice which has formed around the edges.
“Our advice is to stay well away.
“Although frozen reservoirs may seem safe to walk on, ice is very thin and the water beneath is likely to be very deep and extremely cold.
“Another danger is the strong undercurrents caused by the fact that water is being continually drawn into large submerged pipes.
“Our message is simple: please take heed of the safety notices posted around our sites and stay off frozen reservoirs.”
The temperature of the water is one of the most dangerous factors. Reservoirs are deep and the water in them does not flow like in rivers or the sea so the temperature rarely rises much above 12 degrees celsius..
Yorkshire Water is also urging parents to make sure they explain the dangers of playing on frozen reservoirs and lakes to their children.
It says dog owners should ensure they keep their pets on a lead and asks all visitors to make sure they wear appropriate clothing and footwear. The authority says reservoirs are dangerous and if anybody falls in, their life is in danger.