A FORMER member of the Urmston Angling Association condemned anglers who risked their lives by jumping into Duttons Pond to break ice and save thousands of fish suffocating underneath it.

Former secretary of the association Stan Olive said: “Carp usually go and live in the mud during the winter months, so there aren’t very many deaths. We usually break the ice near the bank, but it’s very silly to walk in to the river. I have never heard of anyone wading in to a freezing river to break the ice in the fifty years I’ve been angling.”

He spoke out after a report this week revealed that three men risked hypothermia by staying in the freezing water for hours, smashing away the ice with axes. Paramedics were called to revive one of the men when he passed out after spending just 20 minutes in the water.