IRISH Water Safety last night warned that lives would be lost if people ventured on to frozen lakes and rivers.
The warning came amid growing reports of children playing on frozen lakes and canals as the cold snap continues.
Chief executive John Leech said there were particular dangers associated with a thaw, which could be on the way in the coming days.
"The bottom line is that people shouldn't be out on lakes or canals or rivers at all. The risks are too high.
"You simply don't know how thick the ice is once you venture away from the edges," he said.
Our picture shows young people crossing a lake on the outskirts of Drumshambo in Co Leitrim yesterday, oblivious to any hidden dangers.