Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland

Woman falls through ice on Alte Donau while skating at own risk

Share this article

Woman falls through ice on Alte Donau while skating at own risk
Photo: KF/Wikimedia
12:41 CET+01:00
A 69-year old Viennese woman fell through an unauthorized patch on the frozen old Danube river (Alte Donau) while skating this Sunday. She was able to break free using her own strength, but was still brought to the hospital in order to be examined for a minor case of hypothermia.
There are no official natural ice surfaces on the Danube waterways that have been cleared for skating, so it is safe to state that this woman did so at her own risk. In fact, there are no areas along the tributaries of the Danube that are checked for safety at all. According to an ORF report, even the ice on the city's plastic-based, artificial skating rinks have unreliable consistency and thereby risky safety conditions. 
 
In the case of the ice-covered Danube, the ice remains quite thin because the still water that lies underneath is unaffected by air temperatures and hovers at around seven degrees Celsius, even in extreme cold. The Alte Donau is four meters deep, and the Neue Donau measures down to seven meters below. 
 
Gerald Loew, the manager of MA 45, Vienna's administrative department that supervises bodies of water, stated: "Even we, as experts, cannot confirm the strength of the ice, given the myriad of factors involved. The probability of falling through is nevertheless high."
Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

From our sponsors

This small Mediterranean capital is the perfect winter city break

Valletta, Malta's small but mighty capital, still feels like one of the Med's undiscovered gems. But it won't stay that way for long. The Local's commercial editor, Sophie Miskiw, explored 2018's Capital of Culture and can't wait to go back.