Babbs Mill Lake Incident

We are deeply saddened by the deaths of three boys who were rescued by our firefighters yesterday (Sun 11 Dec) from a lake in Solihull



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Published on 12 December 2022

UPDATE – 14/12/2022 18:00 hours 

We’re devastated to hear the fourth child rescued from the Babbs Mill Lake incident a few days ago has very sadly died. We wish the family strength and comfort in these tragic circumstances.

Police have confirmed searches are now completed and the scene at the lake will be closed shortly.

We are deeply saddened by the deaths of three boys who were rescued by our firefighters yesterday (Sun 11 Dec) from a lake in Solihull. Please see our incident page for details.

Area Commander Richard Stanton, of West Midlands Fire Service, said: “The boys’ deaths are a tragedy beyond words. The thoughts and heartfelt sympathies of everyone here at West Midlands Fire Service are with their families, friends and the wider community at this distressing time.

“Sunday’s incident is a stark reminder to us all of the dangers of open water, especially during the winter months.

“Frozen lakes, ponds, canals and reservoirs can look picturesque, but they can be lethal. There can be no greater warning of this than Sunday’s awful events.

“We would ask parents and carers to remind their children of the dangers of ice, and why they must keep off it. Please help us to avoid this happening again.

“We will continue to work closely with our emergency services colleagues and provide any support we can at the scene. Again, we extend our heartfelt sympathies to everyone who has been affected by the boys’ deaths.”

What to do if YOU accidentally fall through ice:

  • stay calm and shout for help
  • spread your arms out across the surface of the ice in front of you
  • lie flat and use your arms to pull yourself over the ice towards the shore
  • if the ice on the water breaks, try to make your way to the bank or shore, breaking ice in front of you as you go
  • if you find yourself stuck and unable to escape, wait for help. Stay as still as possible to conserve your energy. Bring your arms close to your sides and keep your legs together, while keeping your head out of the water
  • when you’re safely out of the water it’s important to go to hospital for a check-up.

What to do if you see SOMEONE ELSE fall through the ice:

  • shout for help, call 999 or 112 and – if the incident involves inland water – ask for the fire service. At the coast, ask for the coastguard
  • do not go on to ice to attempt a rescue
  • call out to the casualty and encourage them to stay calm
  • to try to reach the person from the bank, use a rope, pole, tree branch, clothes tied together or anything else that can extend your reach
  • lie down flat on the bank, to avoid slipping or being pulled in
  • if you can’t reach them, try sliding something that floats – like a football or large plastic bottle – to them, to help them float
  • if the casualty is too far away, DO NOT try to rescue them yourself. Wait for the emergency services to arrive. Continue to calm and reassure the person.

Advice to dog walkers:

  • keep dogs on their leads near ice, and do not throw sticks or toys on to it
  • never go on to ice or into icy water to rescue a dog or other animal
  • move to somewhere where the dog will be able to climb out and call them towards you.

Please visit our winter water safety page for further information.