Stay alive by staying away from water

STAY away from the edge is the warning from British Waterways this winter.

Its 2,200-mile network of canals and rivers are used by walkers, joggers, families, anglers, boaters and cyclists.

But while the waterways can look picturesque on crisp winter days its towpaths, bridges and lock-sides can be particularly slippery and snow can conceal hazards such as boat mooring rings close to the water's edge.

British Waterways' message for visitors is to stay SAFE by Staying Away From the Edge.

Peter Wade, health & safety manager for British Waterways, said: "We have had a number of reports of people walking on frozen waterways, while these may look idyllic and enticing they can be very dangerous, and visitors should never attempt to walk, skate or play on the ice."

For more information about planning a safe visit to the waterways visit Wild Over Waterways (http://www.wow4water.net/), or the website of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (http://www.rospa.com/).

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