Fire department warns Dutch to be careful about skating on natural ice

Ice skating on the Haterse Vennen, 22 Jan 2017
Ice skating on the Haterse Vennen, 22 Jan 2017Photo: @Mirian2810 / Twitter

With icy weather in the Netherlands this week, the Dutch fire department issued a statement warning skating enthusiasts to be extra careful when deciding whether or not to take on the natural ice.

"Often there is skating where nobody knows how thick the ice is", the fire department warns. "Are you in doubt? Don't take any risks. If you do skate, make sure you have good safety equipment. Then the fire department doesn't have to respond for you."

The fire department warns that ice is in most cases unsafe near bridges, birds, reeds, water plants and overhanging tree branches. Changing colors on ice can also point to changing thickness, so be careful not to skate over pieces of ice that are a different color than the rest of the ice. 

"If you do fall through the ice, or see someone drop through the ice, and can't get out of the water, always call the emergency number", the fire department adds.