New Castle, DE – Following a second incident during the past two weeks when a visitor fell through the ice covering a Carousel Park pond while attempting to rescue a stranded pet, New Castle County officials today reminded members of the public of the dangers of walking onto ice. They also announced new steps county government will take to reduce the risk of fall-throughs at Carousel Park.
“We want all of our visitors, including their canine companions, to be safe when visiting our parks year round,” County Executive Matt Meyer said. “During the winter months water surfaces may seem frozen, but never assume that ice can support the weight of people or pets. Pet owners and guardians of small children in particular should to be vigilant. Take responsible precautions by keeping a close eye on children and putting pets on a leash near waterways. If a person or an animal falls through the ice, do not put yourself at risk by jumping in after them. Call 911 immediately, and if at Carousel Park, use the emergency flotation devices that are available and wait for first responders to arrive.“
Meyer applauded members of the Mill Creek Fire Company, county public safety personnel, other first responders and citizen bystanders who responded to the recent incidents and did a tremendous service to keep people and animals safe. However, these repeated incidents demonstrate the need to take additional steps to educate and assist visitors to Carousel Park, which features one of the most heavily-used bark parks in New Castle County. Today, Meyer announced that the County is responding by:
- Installing signs at multiple locations in parking areas and along pathways leading to the pond that warn of hazardous ice conditions and urge pet owners to keep dogs under control and off the ice. While dogs are permitted to be unleashed in the designated bark park area on the west side of the pond, pet owners should take precautions to keep their dogs away from the pond during the winter months when icing of the pond surface is common. Please note: County regulations require dogs to be leashed in all other areas of Carousel Park.
- Placing three additional lifesaving stations in high visibility areas alongside the pond perimeter, which will double the number of lifesaving stations that are offered. These stations feature floating rescue rings with rope that can be tossed onto the ice to initiate a rescue in the event of a fall-through.
Additionally, county officials are considering the installation of a fence alongside portions of the pond bank as a visual reminder of the dangers of proceeding onto icy surfaces during the winter months.
Watch a Facebook Live video message from County Executive Matt Meyer during a visit to Carousel Park today with County Councilwoman Janet Kilpatrick and representatives from New Castle County Police and New Castle County Paramedics.
County officials urged members of the public to follow these steps if they or a loved one fall through ice:
- Take measured breaths to maintain composure;
- Alert others nearby by yelling for help;
- Face the direction of the bank that you came from, put your hands on the surface of the ice and kick with your feet and use your hands to propel your body onto the surface of the ice;
- Role away from the broken ice toward the direction of the bank, and;
- Get dry and warm immediately after reaching dry land and seek urgent medical attention