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VUGD: Ielūšana ledū pārsvarā beidzas traģiski

'There is no safe ice for stepping on' rescuers warn

The Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD) face rescue missions when people fall through thin ice every year, and every year there are also deaths. Rescuers advise: even when temperatures are well below zero, don't step on the ice anyway, Latvian Television reported December 20.

In many places in Latvia, the ice from water bodies has disappeared or is very fragile, but people still attempt to go ice-fishing or step on it for other reasons. This week, for two ice-fishers, it ended in tragedy.

Speaking anonymously to ice fishers suggested a sad trend - no one could remember a case of someone who would have got out successfully. 

Deputy Commander Edvards Melnis, Head of Valmiera Division of the VUGD Vidzeme Region Authority, said there was no such thing as safe ice. If a person still decides to step on it, then one must not go alone and be prepared with appropriate clothing and carry sharp sticks.

“The sticks have one function, it's to stab them in the ice and pull the body, stab them and drag the body upwards accordingly, the main thing is to keep a large area and keep their legs wide and with such moves get all the way to the shore,” said Melnis.

Five people were rescued by firefighters after falling through the ice during the last winter season between November 1 and March 31. During that season there were 32 drownings, eight of whom had most likely fallen through the ice. Only five were successfully saved after falling through.

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