Edinburgh Schools Ice Alert

The following guidance has been issued by the City of Edinburgh Council:


Ice has been forming on the Reservoirs in the Pentland Hills. It is of variable thickness and extremely unstable. There is a high risk of an accident in the next few days should anyone be tempted onto the ice. It has been shown that children are easily tempted and therefore most at risk.


Could you please alert your pupils to the dangers of going onto frozen water. There have been three incidents in the Pentland Hills in the last ten years, one resulting in a fatality.

The following advice may be helpful.


Emergency Action (As recommended by the Royal Life Saving Society UK)




If you see someone fall through the ice:

  1. Shout for assistance and call the emergency services.
  2. Do not walk or crawl onto the ice to attempt a rescue.
  3. Shout to the Casualty to keep still.
  4. Try and reach them from the bank using a rope, pole, a tree branch, clothingtied together or anything else which extends your reach.
  5. When reaching from the bank lie down to avoid being pulled onto the ice.
  6. If you can not reach them slide something that floats, like a rescue buoy.
  7. If the casualty is too far away, do not attempt to rescue them. Wait for the emergency services while calming and reassuring them.


After the casualty has been removed from the ice:

  1. Make sure the ambulance is on its way.
  2. Lay them flat, check breathing and pulse and begin resuscitation if necessary.
  3. Prevent them from getting colder by putting them in a sleeping bag or covering them including their head, with blankets or spare clothing.
  4. Get them under shelter out of the cold.
  5. Do not remove any clothing until the casualty is in a warm place.
  6. Do not rub their skin, apply hot water or give an alcoholic drink.
  7. Keep them wrapped up so that they warm up gradually.


If you fall through the ice:

  1. Keep calm and call for help.
  2. If no help is available spread your arms across the surface of the ice.
  3. If the ice is strong enough kick your legs and slide onto the ice.
  4. Lie flat and pull yourself to the shore.
  5. If the ice is very thin, break it in front of you and make your way to the shore.
  6. If you cannot climb out, wait for help keeping as still as possible.
  7. Once you are safe, go to hospital immediately for a check up.