POTOMAC, Md. (WNEW) — The Montgomery County Fire Department is warning people about the dangers of ice-covered waterways during this cold snap.

This comes as a 7-year-old in neighboring Prince George’s County died after falling into a pond Friday night.

“No ice is safe,” Captain Dave Pazos says. “Just stay off the ice… stay out of the water.”

Capt. Pazos was out with the county’s River Rescue and Tactical Support Team on Saturday, training on a frozen Potomac pond.

“The water is so cold that it’ll basically reduce your ability to self-rescue yourself and become hypothermic very quickly,” Capt. Pazos says.

He adds that if you’re with someone who has fallen in, do not try to self-rescue by going on the ice. Call 911 and know where in the water the victim fell.

“If we get there and we cannot see them, it’s pretty important that we find out where exactly they went underneath the water,” Capt. Pazos says.

When it comes to ice over open water, the advice from the experts is “don’t risk it.”

“The biggest concern is that some people may think that the ice is thicker than it should be to carry a person’s body weight…and at times it doesn’t,” Capt. Pazos says. “So they get trapped in the ice.”

Click here for more ice and cold weather safety tips from the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Department.

WNEW’s Cameron Thompson contributed to this report. Follow him and WNEW on Twitter.

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